Building inspectors and assistant directors on the payroll of the Sindh Building Control Authority are involved in supporting illegal constructions in Karachi, admits SBCA Director-General Zafar Ahsan.
The newly appointed director-general has big plans to put an end to such constructions in the metropolis. But he says the authority is short on staff.
Ahsan told SAMAA Digital that SBCA has increased its task force teams by double from four to eight. The move aims to expedite the operation against illegal constructions, he said.
The director general accepted that illegal constructions are being carried out in the city. He identified slum areas in Liaquatabad, Korangi, Lyari, Orangi Town and adjacent areas as the locations were such constructions are common.
Those involved in carrying out illegal constructions have converted into a strong mafia, said Ahsan, adding that such employees take the shelter of political parties in their respective areas.
He attributed SBCA’s lack of vigilance to a shortage of staff.
“We have informed the Sindh government regarding the shortage in SBCA,” the director-general said.
Ahsan says there are two main reasons for the increase in illegal constructions in Karachi – lack of coordination among utility departments and a shortage of housing schemes.
He said various utility departments allow construction at residential sites without approval from the SBCA. No new housing scheme has been introduced in Karachi for the last several years, he said. The population, meanwhile, is rapidly increasing. He explained that this has created a gap in the demand and supply of houses.
“The increase in demand of housing units and shortage of supply compel the people to build illegal structures in the city,” Ahsan said.