Be it commercial, residential or mixed-use buildings, every project is unique in its design. Talking about the City of Lights – Karachi, the number of high-rise buildings in this city is probably bigger than any other city in Pakistan. While the ease of availability in terms of quantity of vertical buildings is a good thing for a teeming metropolis, it also brings a lot of responsibility on developers to focus more on quality. As such, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has formed a committee that will draft bylaws for high-rise buildings in Karachi.
Bylaws For High-rise Buildings In Karachi
Before you make a decision to move into a building, it is important to know about the safety measures that the developer has taken while constructing it. The presence of an emergency exit in a building helps in cases of emergency when people evacuating the building are in huge numbers. It is standard procedure to switch off the elevators to avoid the chance of anyone being stuck during the chaotic state.
In a ruling passed by Sindh High Court, new bylaws for high-rise buildings in Karachi have made it mandatory for all the high-rise commercial, residential and mixed-use buildings to acquire a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the fire brigade department that will clear the building from any fire security risks.
In light of the Sindh High Court (SHC) ruling, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has constituted a committee that has been tasked with formulating the bylaws that will guide the issuance of the no-objection certificate (NOC). Moreover, the committee will also define the procedure through which realtors and builders will be able to acquire the NOC.
Members Of The Committee
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has formed a committee that will consist of six members belonging to different departments to ensure the implementation of new bylaws for high-rise buildings in karachi. These will be highly skilled and experienced members who will take into consideration every risk and precaution to ensure that the fire security aspects of any high-rise building are never compromised.
The six-member committee will consist of officials from following departments:
- Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) law advisor
- Land director
- Estate director
- MUCT director
- Officials of KMC
- Officials of fire brigade department
Tasks Of The Committee
The primary task as already mentioned is the formulation of bylaws to obtain an NOC. But the committee will also be responsible to perform other tasks. The bylaws will be drafted according to international best practices and firefighting rules. Moreover, a comprehensive and uniform policy will be made that will be followed to procure an NOC from the fire department of KMC. The procedure will be completely transparent and the committee will also decide the amount of fee that will be charged
Why The NoC Is Necessary
It poses a security threat for the residents of a residential building or people working in commercial buildings if the builder has not taken proper fire security precautions. The new and upcoming projects in Karachi will be required to obtain NOC from the fire brigade department or it won’t get a go-ahead from the development authority for construction. The NOC has to be acquired before the construction of high-rise buildings.
This will ensure that proper fire security guidelines are in place in a building. Building access and emergency exits are marked properly with the help of signs and readable for people. More advanced buildings developed for office spaces and multipurpose use may make the availability of fire alarms, water sprinklers and hazard lights. At the very least, a fire exit and fire safety equipment in the building will be helpful in saving people’s lives in cases of emergency.
Bodies Issuing NOCs In Karachi
After the KMC develops bylaws for issuance of NOC by the fire brigade department, it will be an addition to the institutions that award NOCs for different purposes. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gives NOC for the construction of high-rise buildings within the 15-kilometer radius of the airport in Karachi. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) also issues NOC for high-rise buildings. NOCS related to designs, architecture, sale and advertisement of buildings is given by Sindh Building Control (SBA).
Importance Of Fire Safety In Buildings
The high-rise buildings have always presented the designers and architects with unique fire-safety challenges. Making these high-rises as much secure as possible is in itself a challenge and there is not enough that a builder or a developer can do to make it completely safe. However, there are precautions that should be taken so that the reaction time to any unforeseen situations can be minimized. Being stuck in a building on fire can be the worst fear of many and panic in these situations can also result in chaos and difficulties. On-site trained personnel, presence of fire safety equipment and alerting the rescue units in time are few things that every building must have.