KARACHI: Karachi Metropolitan Corporation joined hands on Tuesday with Heritage Foundation of Pakistan (HFP) to undertake the rehabilitation of the historic Calcutta House, a colonial heritage building, a part of which collapsed recently at Chand Road.
Eighteen families living in this heritage site have been displaced owing to the structural collapse of the building that is in a highly dilapidated state. It is imperative that restoration work be done with utmost urgency not only to rehabilitate the displaced persons – including women and children – that are living in makeshift arrangements in an empty school located nearby, but also to prevent from collapse a valuable historic landmark.
Speaking about the disaster, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter said, “It pains me to see yet another significant historic building of Karachi in such a deteriorating condition. I feel it is our obligation to try to restore the building to its original glory, as we cannot afford to keep losing the heritage and original character of Karachi.”
HFP Chairperson, Yasmeen Lari appealed to the people of Karachi to visit the Calcutta House and stand together in this noble cause to rehabilitate the victims and protect a priceless heritage site. She urged, “We need your support to provide the immediate needs of the families, such as water, food, clothes and gifts for children in the form of books and toys to help them get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.”
HFP has already started the preparation of drawings and architectural and engineering studies in order to work out ways to save the original structure and rebuild the collapsed portion by reusing the original stones and usable wooden elements, so that the building is safe and livable. Assistance in the form of required material, workforce and student volunteers would be highly appreciated, she said.