The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) disclosed to the Sindh High Court that a fire safety audit of over 265 commercial buildings unveiled concerning findings, with not a single one possessing a fire safety certificate or NOC issued by the fire brigade department.

The report, presented on behalf of Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi, highlighted serious deficiencies observed during the audit, urging necessary measures to enhance fire safety and control following recent fire incidents that resulted in loss of life and property.

Conducted on major roads including Sharea Faisal, I.I. Chundrigar Road, and Shahrah-i-Quaideen/Tariq Road, the audit covered 145 buildings in the latter area, approximately 75 on Sharea Faisal, and 45 on I.I. Chundrigar Road. Shockingly, none of the surveyed buildings possessed the required NOC or fire safety certificate, while most lacked fire safety systems and emergency exits.

The report noted the absence of fire alarms and smoke detectors in around 155 buildings, unsatisfactory wiring and electric systems in over 155, and inadequate firefighting equipment access in approximately 200 buildings.

In response to the dire situation, the Sindh High Court had directed provincial authorities to ensure thorough inspections of all shopping malls to uphold safety standards, particularly in light of recent tragic incidents such as the R.J. Shopping Mall fire on Rashid Minhas Road, which claimed 11 lives and injured five others due to a suspected short circuit.

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