PAN, November 27, 2011

70pc of high-rise buildings in Kabul constructed illegally

Relevant officials pay "scant" attention to such buildings, constructed by warlords or powerful individuals

By Frozan Muradi

Kabul Municipality officials on Tuesday said that 70 percent of high-rise buildings in the capital were illegally constructed, blaming the relevant authorities for failing to take action in this regard.

The Onyx Construction Company's building in Kalola Pushta and others in Nawabad, Mirwais Maidan Road and Sara-i-Shomali were built without permission from the government, an official said.

Deputy Mayor Abdul Ahad Wahid told Pajhwok Afghan News his office shared the issue at least 30 times last year with Ministry of Interior, Attorney General's Office and Presidential Place, but no remedial step had been taken so far.

70pc of high-rise buildings in Kabul constructed illegally
70pc of high-rise buildings in Kabul have been constructed illegally. (Photo: PAN)

Relevant officials pay "scant" attention to such buildings, constructed by warlords or powerful individuals, Wahid said, adding his office had no police and thus the municipality could not take any action.

He demanded 200 policemen to help them prevent the construction of illegal buildings, which had created several problems for residents.

"Our women cannot come out to the yard, because people living in a five-storey building east of our house can easily see them," complained Ahmad Farid, a resident of the Musahi neighbourhood.

"We have tried a lot to sell the house, but found no buyer for it, because of the building. When our five brothers started living separately, each of us constructed a two-storey building to deal with the problem," he said.

Tawab, a resident of Kalola Pushta area, said that they had been facing the same problem due to the seven-storey building of the Onyx Construction Company.

Several other families living in the locality are facing similar problems, he said, adding they had shared the issue with a community leader, but nothing had been done so far.

Contacted for comment, an official of the Azizi Bank which is jointly working on the Onyx building said they had gained permission from the municipality.

Under municipality regulations, the construction of buildings having more than two stories is not allowed in residential areas.

Siamak Herawi, deputy spokesman for the president, said that they had taken steps to address the issue. For instance, he pointed to the prevention of a high-rise building close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Interior ministry spokesman, Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui, said they were also trying to prevent the construction of such structures. Municipality officials say work on a draft allowing four-storey buildings in residential areas was underway.

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