KARACHI: With its rapidly increasing population, Karachi certainly needs to cater to the increasing demand for housing. With limited land and resources, provision of standard quality housing might be close to impossible. Post-2008 general elections, with the federal and provincial governments of the PPP and the provincial government of the same party post-2013 general elections, Karachi has witnessed construction of high-rise buildings like never before. While such housing schemes are a quick solution to cater to thousands on a relatively smaller piece of land, it causes irreparable damage to the infrastructure and is a strain on the already scarce water and power resources.
A few building and developing giants have dozens of housing projects spread across the city. Also, particularly in areas like Bahadurabad, Dhoraji, PECHS and other adjoining vicinities every single-storey housing unit or a bungalow demolished has been replaced with high-rise housing projects with multiple floors reserved for car parking. Undoubtedly, these buildings seem to be an efficient housing provision in metropolitan cities like Karachi, however, with no safety standards and requirements set for natural calamities like earthquakes or a fire outbreak or an explosion, such housing schemes put the lives of thousands at risk.
Recently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered a complete ban on construction of towers and multi-storied buildings, yet open construction of such housing projects proves that either no significant action has been taken by the relevant authorities of the provincial and local governments or these bodies themselves are involved in minting millions by approving these projects illegally.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2017.