LAHORE   -  Life is at risk in Walled City while the Walled City of Lahore Authority is yet to take concrete steps to avoid any disaster.

The authority has so far issued notices to the owners of ‘dangerous’ buildings.

According to the WCLA, 86 of 937 dangerous buildings have been demolished.

Moreover, 267 buildings have not been demolished so far and another 584 buildings need immediate repair, it is learnt.

In April, six people lost their lives in a house collapse in Bhatti Gate and the WCLA rushed to site that it ‘had served notice on the owner but he did not bother’.

The authority has to make sure that the owners take concrete step to get away with the looming risk.

The authority officials said they had ‘done job’ ahead of the start of pre-monsoon season.

On the other hand, the residents of Bhatti Gate urged the WCLA to take action to save lives. 

“Just serving notices does not matter, the authority should either maintain the structures or demolish dangerous buildings,” a resident said on anonymity.

Another man from Bhatti Gate, Zahid, cited financial constraints as the reason on part of the locals to ignore the notices.

“I think the financial issues prevent owners to repair their homes,” he said.

Zahid Hussain, a shopkeeper said, “Families are reluctant to leave the houses due to their emotional attachment.”

The Nation has visited multiple sites in Bhatti Gate including Vada Verah (big courtyard) where a pre-partition building is in terrible condition but the residents are not ready to cooperate with WCLA and refused to comment.

Lahore Division Commissioner Dr Mujtaba Paracha said the WCLA should not show lethargy over such a sensitive matter.

“The WCLA must not let digging on a even a little scale during the monsoon,” the commissioner insisted

“It should use every channel to bar locals from any kind of construction.” 

WLCA Deputy Director Conservation Mubashar Hussan said that 86 dangerous buildings had been demolished and notices for the rest had been served.

“The mechanism is clear. If an owner does not respond to our notices, we approach concerned police,” Mubashar said.

Since April, no such case has been reported.

The deputy director said the WCLA also used notables to influence the locals.

“With the Punjab government budget more than 20 properties were repaired in the first phase while in second phase, conservation of more than 85 properties was carried out,” he said.