Illegal constructions in cahoots with SBCA

KARACHI – Despite the tall claims of the Director General of Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), massive illegal constructions are being carried out in the City, causing loss of millions of rupees to the provincial exchequer, The Nation learnt.

According to a survey conducted in Liaqutabad Town by The Nation, scores of construction works of commercial flats are being carried out on the residential plots which have exposed the tall claims of the department towards transparency.

An official of the design department of SBCA, on condition of anonymity, confirmed that such sort of illegal activities are on the rise in the department. He said that mostly commercial projects were constructed at the residential plots without fulfilling the legal requirements, including building maps by the authority, causing losses of millions of rupees to the provincial exchequer in the said town jurisdiction.

He admitted that the SBCA is responsible for the infrastructure of each area, giving permission to the builders for their personal lucrative benefits.
Source privy to the matter revealed that at least 20 to 30 complaints pointing out the illegal constructions in their residential areas on daily basis but the officers concerned of the area have declined to take a single action on those applications because of the corruption rampant in the department.

He added that in the said town an illegal building was constructed on a residential plot where roof of ground plus two of 120 square yard house. An officer reached at the site and tried to stop this illegal construction when some armed men tortured him. He lodged a complaint with the high-ups but no official took notice.

Sources of the SBCA alleged that the Director of SBCA, Aqeel Abidi and deputy director of the area namely Jamal have directly involved in illegal constructions in the area. He added that most of the under construction illegal buildings of this town are being supervised under the influence of above mentioned directors.

The data collected by The Nation revealed that in Liaquatabad Town, massive illegal projects are in progress, including plots number 6/8- 2/A, 28/25 -3D, 11/9 – 3/D, 19/5 – 3/D, 15/7 – 3/D, 38/2 – 1/J, 5/2 – 3/F, 3/14 – 3/H, 6/9 – 3/B, 17/15 – 3/F, 10/12, 5/5 – 1/F, 9/13, 34/5 -1/J, 14/5 – 2/A, 9/14 – 2/F, 7/21 – 1/H, 10/1 – 1/E, 6/4 – 2/F, 34/6 – 3/F, 5/21 – 2/A, 14/21 – 2/A, 5/23 – 5/E, 4/27- 3/B, 110/111 Waheedabad, 6/5 – 2/J, 53/3 – I/J, 2/44 – 1/A, 6/5 – 2/F, 13/3 – 3/F, 5/21 – 2/A, 11/15 – 3/D, 26/7 – 3/D, 9/12 – 3/D, 14/5 – 1/E, 21/14 – 3/D, 5/6 – 2/G, 5/14 – 2/K, 10/8 – 3/C, 5/2 – 2/C, 6/2 – 1/F, 11/7 – 1/F, 7/10 – 2/A, 3/8 – 3/G, 21/17 – 3/D among the building illegally constructed.

The above said constructions are built by violation of the SBCA rules and regulations but nobody took action against the owners of the buildings despite construction on all aforementioned plots are rapidly progressing towards completion.

Sources said that officials of SBCA had appointed a man who was basically making deals as middle man between the builders and the officials of the SBCA. He also harassed the complainants through armed men who tried to approach the authorities concerned for removal of illegal construction.

Despite the tall claims of DG Building Control Authority, hardly a single project in the City has fulfilled the requirement of the SBCA while mostly officials in all the 18 towns have considered the SBCA as an easy money-making department of the Sindh government.

When contacted the officers concerned including the directors and the director media, they declined to comment on the issue.