The decision Karachi’s real estate market has been waiting for so long has finally arrived. The Supreme court of Pakistan has lifted the ban on construction on high-rise buildings in the city. The court verdict will now allow real estate builders to construct commercial and residential projects up to 26 storey high. However, the court firmly instructed that the buildings should follow all the laws specified by the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) while constructing.
Back in May 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan imposed the restriction while responding to the water crisis and worsening sanitation conditions in the city. The megacity Karachi is the third largest city in the world in terms of population. The city is home to nearly 18 million people. Karachi was facing a severe water shortage as the water supply to the major portion of the city has long been suspended through the lines laid for the purpose. The residents are bearing the burden of paying water bills as well as additional bills to private suppliers to get water as per their needs.
Following the restriction, the builders were entitled to construct only ground plus two-storey high structures. Consequently. the sheer fall in activities that have 1.6 million people attached to the market has been observed. This cause the apex court to allow construction of six storeys with the approval of the SBCA.
A large number of real estate projects in the city was paused in the middle after the ban. Many real estate builders in Karachi sold their units without executing their planned constructions. Clients were started to demand their money back for the units which were not anyway near to be ready for possession.
Association of Builders and Developers were among the initial voices raised for stakeholders. They shared shocking facts about the impact of this ban on the construction activity in the largest city of the country. Apex court accepted their stance and allows to resume construction activities after a one and a half year of the ban.
Significantly, the verdict instructed new constructions should be according to the specified laws of SBCA – the authority responsible for granting related approvals for construction.
A comprehensive strategy with the diligent approach is required to assist Karachi to serve its role as Pakistan’s business hub rather than leading to collapsing under its own weight. There is an urgent need for fair and transparent distribution and production of resources.
Departments should properly do their homework before assigning tasks to mage respective services in the city. The long-sightedness is essential for the early solution of future complexities of the city. These sincere efforts can help Karachi regain its true worth among the thriving metropolises across the globe.
One can surely hope the better management of resources and a compassionate strategy applied by builders to feel and capitalize on the soul of Karachi, instead of taking this city as a potentially rewarding concrete jungle