City News

Task force formed to ensure fire safety across District South

The administration of District South has formed a task force to check fire prevention and safety measures in high-rise buildings as well as commercial establishments.

According to details shared by the district administration, the task force will determine the reasons that are causing frequent fires and recommend remedial measures as well as ensure corrections in the safety gaps identified in buildings and factories in coordination with all the stakeholders.

The task force has been formed in compliance with the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) orders. It includes the chief fire officer of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the deputy director civil defence, the deputy director of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), the assistant commissioners of Saddar, Civil Lines, Aram Bagh, Garden and Lyari areas, the DSP traffic

police and the secretary of the Regional Transport Authority.

On the directives of District South Deputy Commissioner Irshad Ali Sodhar, the first meeting of the task force was held with the district’s additional deputy commissioner in chair.

After their deliberations, the meeting decided on carrying out joint visits for the inspection of safety measures in residential and commercial high-rises as well as making recommendations where they find safety measures to be inadequate.

They also decided that building and site plans will only be approved if they include a fire safety mechanism in the structure, stressing on making no exceptions in this regard. The task force decided that a completion certificate would only be issued after the verification of the fire safety mechanism by the relevant authorities. They said that fire safety trainings would be imparted to the administrations of apartment buildings and commercial establishments.

A campaign will be launched to sensitise the general public about fire hazards and safety. Commenting on the issue, DC Sodhar said that the South district is a commercial hub where high-rises are located, while the oldest and most congested residential areas also need proper fire safety measures.

He said that the district administration has launched a campaign after forming the task force for the implementation of the SHC’s orders. He added that civil defence, fire department and SBCA officials have jointly conducted the survey of the Allah Wala Market and the Mustafa Market to ascertain their fire safety measures.

He said that all the assistant commissioners of District South had been assigned to lead the campaign in their respective towns without showing any favouritism in determining the fire safety measures being employed in residential and commercial buildings.

He recalled the fire incident at the Regent Plaza and said that during a recent inspection of the hotel they had found that fire safety measures had been adopted at the establishment. He also said that inspection has been conducted by the task force in the Saddar area, along Mir Muhammad Baloch Road and in Lyari Town.

The DC said that the fire department of the South District Municipal Corporation is being upgraded with the latest equipment and machinery along with the training of manpower in line with international standards. He vowed to complete the inspection of all commercial and residential buildings in his district at the earliest and to ensure corrective measures to save previous lives and properties.

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