KARACHI: Owing to lower commodity prices, there has been a boom in construction activities in the country, particularly in Karachi; but interestingly Building Control Authority appears to be the prime beneficiary in this scenario.
Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) has repeatedly raised voice against the wrongdoings of Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) and Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), but to no use. It seems the concerned quarters in the provincial government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are the indirect beneficiaries of the money minting exercise pursued by the building control authorities.
Construction activities have gained pace in Karachi in the last one year. However, the building control authority gets snaps of the under construction homes and their teams of the area concerned arrive at that particular plot and either extort money from the person who is building or elevating his home or demolishes the under construction part.
People building homes even as per the approved map have to bribe the building control authority personnel; even the illegal structures can be erected after giving bribes.
Building control authority in Karachi is on rampage and the KDA Scheme-33 and Gulzar-e-Hijri and adjoining areas are the worst hit. Any person building a 200 sq yard home has to pay around Rs200,000 to building control authority as extortion and this amount goes to Rs500,000 for illegal construction.
Similar situation is prevalent in in Liaquatabad, Nazimabad, New Karachi, North Karachi, Gulberg, F.B Area and Malir.
There is evidence that money made from this dirty business is also used to fund anti-social activities in the city. It has been reliably learnt that intelligence agencies and law enforcement outfits are collecting information about the assets owned by building control authority officials/officers as well as their blood relatives so that culprits could be brought to task.
Meanwhile, government amnesty announced for the real estate sector’s undocumented transactions has so far whitened at least Rs2.7 billion worth of property investments, while the exercise earned the tax authorities Rs82 million during the past one month.