LAHORE - A spokesperson for the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) said on Monday that a case had been registered against the owner of the three-storey residential building, which collapsed inside Bhatti Gate last week.

Six people were killed and four injured in the incident in Mohalla Aslam Khan inside Bhati Gate.

The spokesperson said the WCLA had issued three notices to building owner Umar Hayat and told him to stop illegal construction of the third storey. He said the WCLA would continue inspection of dilapidated buildings under its Directorate of Building Control and Conservation.

The spokesperson said there was no fault on WCLA’s part as the third storey was built with iron girders and the first and second storeys were made of wood. He said there was a mechanism and people were required to seek permission for construction inside the Walled City.

To a question, the spokesperson said the owner of the building was responsible for the illegal construction and the fatal incident. He said notices were served on the owner three times, but he did not heed. Two days after the building collapsed, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Saleha Saeed ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Committee set up to dig in building collapse

Additional Deputy Commissioner Awais Malik has been appointed inquiry officer and told to submit a report within three days after recording statements of all officers.

A meeting was held on Monday on dangerous buildings in the Walled City. The meeting was attended by the additional deputy commissioner of Lahore (revenue), DSP of Bhati Gate, assistant director enforcement (WCA), ZOR (Infra) Ravi Town and the city assistant commissioner.

The city assistant commissioner will set up a camp in the Walled City to create awareness and collect information about dangerous buildings in Bhatti Gate.

“The concerned officer of the WCLA will be held responsible for any such incident in future. If a basement is constructed in the Walled City, a case would be registered against the concerned officers,” Saleha said. 

The WCLA representative said there were numerous dangerous buildings in the city that required urgent repair or demolition.

Saleha expressed her displeasure with the enforcement director of the WCLA for not attending the meeting and not visiting the scene of the collapsed building, says the spokesperson.