Over 300 buildings constructed in violation of Earthquake code in Quetta
Metropolitan Corporation issues notices to owners of buildings
In Quetta, over 300 shopping malls, markets, plazas and shops have been constructed in violation of building code. The British rulers had fixed 30 feet height for all buildings in the aftermath of the deadliest earthquake of 1935 that razed the mountains-ringed city to the ground.
Most of the buildings have been constructed in the heart of Quetta city, with no proper check by the Quetta Metropolitan Corporation (QMC) during construction work. “We have currently taken action against 40 building owners”, Muhammad Qasam, the Chief of QMC’s anti-encroachment cell told the daily Quetta Voice.
Building code has been violated by highly influential people and they have also greased the palm of QMC’s architect-engineer responsible for passing maps of plazas and shops in the city prior to any construction work. Geologists warn of high-intensity earthquakes in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan in the future. “Quetta is located in a red-zone when it comes to the earthquake”, Dr. Din Muhammad Kakar, a well-known geologist says.
Quetta and almost all parts of Balochistan are prone to natural disasters in general and earthquakes in particular. Keeping in view the future dangers of earthquakes, the Britians immediately fixed the building code in Quetta to avoid future human losses in the case of any natural calamity. During English era, people strictly followed the building code. However, gradually, its violation started with no check on the part of the concerned quarters.
“If you have money, you can pass map for construction”, Haji Salam, a well-known businessman lamented. Tall buildings have been constructed in congested streets and roads of the city, having no parking and other basic facilities. It is very difficult for pedestrians to walk in those streets as they are always crammed with people. “QMC is gradually taking on all influential people”, Qasam claimed.
During the last two decades, earthquakes have caused human and property losses in Ziarat, Awaran and Mashkail towns of Balochistan.