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30-day construction permits for Karachi Naya Pakistan Housing schemes

Two cells of SBCA officers will oversee applications from builders, developers

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Oct 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

The Sindh Building Control Authority will be speeding up construction permits for projects under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, an initiative of the federal government for low cost houses for middle- and lower-income families.

Two cells of SBCA officers will oversee applications from builders and developers under the Ease of Doing Business reforms: One Window Cell-I and Cell-II.

Cell-I is headed by the SBCA director general. It consists of the director for Town Planning & Regulations, directors for Structure, Design, the Town, the director for IT and a representative from the Association of Builders and Developers ABAD.

Cell-I grants permits for public sale projects (Category-IV) above 400 square yards. Cell-I will accept, process and issue architectural concept plans, structure design and drawings, final construction permits and completion plans for public sale projects in Karachi with plots above 400 square yards.

Cell-I has to issue permits within 30 days. NoCs will be processed after architectural approvals but only issued after construction permits.

The period of approval shall be calculated after the cell receives the verified land title along with land use from the agency that owns the land.

Cell-II grants permits on a faster track for buildings falling in Categories I, II and III. It is staffed by SBCA Director Idrees Abdul Ghaffar and Syed Asif Rizvi and Irfan Naqvi. The chairman for Cell-II’s committee will grant permits on the discretion of the DG.

Categories of buildings
Residential plots up to 399 square yards = Category I.
Residential plots over 400 square yards = Category II.
Amenity, industrial plots = Category III.
Commercial plots (public sale projects) = Category IV.

Why were these two committees needed?
SBCA Director Town Planning and Secretary Ali Ghufran explained that Prime Minister Imran Khan has been asking the SBCA about progress into Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme twice a week.

Previously, one committee was overseeing the construction permits and approvals. Two to three approvals were granted in a day but this was not enough. This is why the fast track cells were formed.  

“Now the work is being divided and the process of granting approvals would be expedited,” Ghufran added.

The SBCA needs to verify the owner’s name, status of the plot, area of plot and any investigation against that plot in NAB or the anti-corruption department when an application is submitted on the SBCA portal.

Around 100 cases have been submitted to the SBCA since July 2020. With the two new cells, it is expected that the number would go up to eight approvals in a day.

The director said builders and developers can have their Building Structure Plans vetted through Category A Proof engineers registered with the SBCA. This would help speed up the SBCA work. It will then be able to approve structure plan three days after submission as they would be already vetted by a professional engineer.

In May, the federal government established a Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority through an ordinance (and not a vote in parliament). It provided builders and developers the incentive to start low-cost housing projects. The builders have till December 31, 2020 to apply for their projects.

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