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Sindh govt relaxes procedure for acquiring construction permits in Karachi

KARACHI: The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has eased out the procedure for the approval and issuance of construction permits for residential houses and non-obnoxious warehouses.

This step has been taken following directives of Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and with technical support from the World Bank.

As part of this ‘ground-breaking’ reform, the requirement of inter-departmental No Objection Certificates (NOCs), and other NOCs of Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KW&SB), Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and Excise & Taxation Department Government of Sindh have been waived off.

The procedures and the timeline for approvals of construction permits for residential houses and non-obnoxious warehouses have been revisited. These reforms are applicable for the city of Karachi.

Director General and Chief Executive Sindh Building Control Authority Agha Maqsood Abbas says: “Nothing can stop an organization, with the right mental attitude and team from achieving its goal.”

On the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Building & Town Planning Regulations, notifications regarding these amendments in procedures and timeline have been published, according to which every case of construction permit falling within Category-I shall be approved and issued in a single-stage procedure within a period of 30 days, as against 60 days previously.

Before these reforms were introduced, the total process of obtaining a construction permit and consequently a completion certificate upon completion of construction took 260 days and the applicant had to go through 15 procedural steps. However, in the light of these reforms the number of days has been reduced to 92, and the procedural steps have been reduced to seven, according to SBCA.

SBCA is also in the process of introducing a risk-based evaluation system for issuance of Construction Permits, with the pilot project currently underway for Category-I buildings.

The Category-I of buildings includes:

  1. The residential bungalows up to 399 Sq.yds. having (G+1) floors.
  2. Any other building on plot up to 120 Sq.yds. with a height of up to 33 ft.
  3. Any non-obnoxious warehouse having height up to 35 ft. and or having plot up to
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