Building Control Authority to regulate building issues | Pakistan Today

Building Control Authority to regulate building issues

LAHORE – The Punjab government is about to constitute a Building Control Authority (BCA) to approve buildings’ maps, regulate construction of residential and commercial buildings, enforce building bylaws and check rampant building violations in 36 districts of the province.
The move came after the orders issued by a full bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, which had summoned Punjab chief secretary, former district nazim Lahore and Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general in a case regarding illegally constructed high-rise buildings. With BCA’s establishment, all relevant powers of LDA, CDGL and other controlling authorities will be withdrawn and will be delegated to the BCA as sole authority to deal with the matters concerned.
Sources in CM Secretariat told Pakistan Today that Urban Unit of Planning and Development Department had prepared the draft of rule and regulations for the formation of BCA and had submitted to departments of Housing and Physical Planning and Local Government. Sources said that department of Housing and Physical Planning will seek suggestions from development authorities; City District Governments, Towns, Union Councils and experts in the field of urban developments to finalize recommendations laid down in the making of BCA in Punjab.
The copies of draft have been sent to LDA, Faisalabad Development Authority, Rawalpindi Development Authority, Multan Development Authority and Multan Development Authority which have further sent the draft to district and town administrations. An official in Planning and Development Department said that Urban Unit had also framed out separate drafts to make acts regarding multi-stories plazas and private housing schemes in the light of orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
According to the proposed draft, divisional headquarters of BCA will be set up where experts including structural engineers will be appointed. The authority will also consist of a special committee for the approval of maps and the BCA will be transferred powers to demolish unauthorized buildings and illegal occupations on private and public lands.
An official in LDA said that BCA will act on the pattern of Karachi Building Control Authority. He said that a high-level meeting chaired by the chief secretary and attended by LDA DG, Planning and Development secretary and others, agreed to erect a separate agency following the footsteps of Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) instead of present pattern of prototypes like WASA and TEPA.
The meeting decided that after finalizing the modalities for the formation of the authority, proposal will be submitted to the Punjab Assembly for formal legislation, he revealed.
“BCA will provide a framework of flexible functional requirements within which buildings can be designed and constructed. It will also provide a common platform for all building and construction stakeholders to collectively address issues related to the built environment by developing strategies, guidelines and concrete innovations for a healthy city for present and future generations. The BCA will undertake a major, proactive and innovative initiative of promoting sustainable buildings that will be energy efficient with a low climate change impact,” draft explained.
TEPA official said that town planners without even basic knowledge of building architecture, structural design, complexity of mapping, height and strength of buildings, had the powers to allow the construction of a building which triggered the mess. He believed that traffic engineers, urban planners, architects, environmentalists, town planners and other stakeholders should be involved in the BCA’s formation.
He said initially, the Punjab government had been weighing up three options for the constitution of the building control body. “First option was to integrate town-planning wings of CDGL and LDA with LDA DG to head the proposed body. Second option entailed the constitution of the controlling agency to be headed by an executive district officer that was to work under the directions of the DCO. And the third arrangement seeks an independent agency on the pattern of Karachi Building Control Authority that is agreed upon.”

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