RAWALPINDI: With the start of monsoon, 212 dilapidated buildings in the city and cantonment areas have been declared dangerous. Their owners have been asked to either repair the buildings or vacate them so any damage that may result from monsoon rains could be avoided.

After a survey of old and dilapidated buildings in the garrison city, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) issued these notices.

Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) Cantonment Executive Officer Imran Gulzar told Dawn that there were 100 buildings in the cantonment areas which had been declared dangerous and out of them 45 buildings were most dangerous.

He said under the law the civic body informed private property owners about the danger and it was their duty to carry out repairs, adding the RCB completed arrangements to deal with a flood-like situation in monsoon.

“We established a quick response unit comprising the sewerage, water, building branch to avoid any untoward situation in case of heavy rains,” he said.

Mr Gulzar said all nullahs had been cleaned ahead of monsoon and during the recent spell of heavy rain smooth flow of water in drains and nullahs was witnessed.

He said tenants may not change the the structure of lease property but should repair it.

Meanwhile, RDA has decided to issue notices to the owners of residential and commercial properties around Leh Nullah for safety.

On the direction of RDA Director General retired Capt Tahir Zafar Abbasi, the authority is ensuring that all measures are taken for the protection of life and property of citizens during monsoon season.

The director (Land Use and Building Control RDA) said immediate precautionary measures had been taken to protect people, especially those living near Leh Nullah and around areas which come under the control of RDA.

He said they also need to take immediate precautionary measures to protect themselves from extreme rain.

He said that houses and shops should be repaired immediately with the permission of RDA so that any future loss of life and property could be avoided.

Some of the dangerous buildings are located in Bohar Bazaar, Naya Mohallah, Lunda Bazaar, New Sarafa Bazaar, Chittian Hattian, Bhabara Bazaar, Nishtarabad, Chachhi Mohallah, Allam Khan Road, Mohallah Niarian, Mohallah Waris Khan, Syed Puri Gate, Shah Chan Chiragh Mohallah, Talwaran Bazaar, Mochi Bazaar, Purana Qila, Raja Bazaar, Rani Bazaar and Chowk Bansanwala.

“There are many buildings in the jurisdiction of Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and if these buildings are not renovated or vacated, they could collapse in heavy rains and also affect nearby areas,” an RMC senior official said.

Shujaat Raza, a resident of Sarafa Bazaar, said that he would not be able to shift to another place as he had no money to repair the present building or get another on rent. He said the government should help the people who were already suffering from financial crises.

Mohammad Furqan, a resident of Purana Qila, said that the RMC issued notices to them every year but did not provide the solution. He urged government to give financial help to those who lived in such buildings.

An RMC official said that the corporation would provide financial help to owners of private buildings.

“We identified the dangerous buildings and informed people to vacate or repair them to avoid any untoward situation in the monsoon season,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2022

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