SBCA directors given powers to approve residential building plans

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The builders waiting for the approval of their residential projects no longer need to wait for the approval of the SBCA DG as the powers have once again been devolved to its directors.

The newly-appointed SBCA Director General Muhammad Saleem Raza has even issued an order.

The order said that the authority is pleased to notify the revised delegation of powers in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 21-A of the Sindh Building Control Ordinance, 1979.

Now, all proposed and revised building plans of Category-I (include residential units up to 399 square yards) can be approved or rejected by the relevant director.

“The concerned director shall ensure proper implementation of laws, rules, and regulations,” the order said.

The practice was common before but it was changed by former SBCA director general ShamsuddinSoomro, who was posted from November 2020 to July 2021.

He had taken the powers away from the directors and kept them with himself which means that only he had the power to reject or approve building plans.

He could do so under the Sindh Building Control Ordinance, 1979.The step, however, affected the people and delayed the building approval process in the city.

Building plans of public sale projects and commercial projects are forwarded to the director general for final approval, as they contain more technicalities and requirements.

During Soomro’s tenure, there were around 636 Category-I building plans submitted for approval. Out of them, only 220 were approved.

The newly-appointed director general in his order clarified that all previous orders in respect of the delegation of powers have been superseded. He said that this step will facilitate the public and expedite the building approval process.

Ninety percent of builders have been applying for building approvals through the Single Window Facility, while 10% still refer to the directors of their respective towns.

The proposed/revised residential building plans for plots above 400 square are approved by the respective town.

Some SBCA directors said that the approval process of Category-I (residential units) buildings was delayed during Soomro’s tenure and it created a backlog.

 

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