Dilapidated structures get eviction notices

Civic agencies declare that Rawalpindi’s aging infrastructure poses life risks

Qaiser Shirazi May 26, 2024


Civic authorities in Rawalpindi are gearing up for the pre-monsoon season by issuing notices to vacate 314 dilapidated buildings. These structures, located in various parts including the inner city, have become a safety concern due to their deteriorating conditions.

The Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation, along with the Evacuee Trust Property Board, district council, and cantonment boards, has mandated the evacuation of these leaky, fragile buildings by June 15. According to official sources, these measures aim to prevent potential disasters during the upcoming monsoon rains.

Tenants and owners of these buildings have been instructed to vacate the premises, although some have chosen to contest these directives in court. The affected buildings, which include commercial shops and warehouses, bear historical significance, dating back to pre-partition times.

Notable locations among the affected buildings are Shah Chan Chirag, Shah Nazar Bridge, Syed Puri Gate, Ghazni Road, and various areas within the Sadar Cantt premises. Despite annual notices, little action has been taken in the past, leading to occasional collapses during monsoon seasons.

Many of these buildings are under the ownership of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, housing multiple families on nominal rents. Some families have resided in these structures for decades, passing down tenancies through generations. However, the fear of losing such affordable accommodations deters tenants from vacating, making structural repairs challenging for the property board.

Owners of these buildings often relocate valuables to safer places before monsoons, but the reluctance to leave their homes persists even during heavy rains. Deputy Commissioner Hasan Waqar Cheema has emphasized the urgency of evacuating these vulnerable structures before the monsoon hits.

Furthermore, a comprehensive survey has been ordered to assess the condition of government-owned and private buildings, schools, dispensaries, and other public facilities in Rawalpindi. This includes estimating the costs for repairing buildings damaged during the 2005 earthquake, highlighting a broader concern for structural safety across the city.

Officials further said the efforts of various agencies aim to mitigate risks associated with ageing infrastructure, especially as the monsoon season approaches.









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