Pakistan’s Sindh Arch. Dept. Seals Pre-Partition Parsi Heritage Building

As per news reports, Pakistan’s Sindh Archaeology Department sealed a pre-partition Parsi heritage building – Jamshed Katrak Chambers – located in Kharadar, and has issued a show-cause to the owner, after the building was partially demolished, on 29th October, 2023.

Built in 1932, Jamshed Katrak Chambers was bought by Zoroastrian businessman and philanthropist – Kavasji Katrak, who came to India in the early 1900s and settled in Rawalpindi before he moved to Karachi, and bequeathed the building to one of his grandsons, Jamshed, who passed away in 2008.

As per the Deputy Director, Heritage, Pirah Mangi, the building had been partially demolished late in the night two days ago and her team got it sealed through an assistant commissioner next morning halting any further demolishing. The department then issued a show-cause notice to the owner, who claimed to have obtained permission for demolition/construction work from the Sindh Building Control Authority. An inquiry was underway to ascertain the actual ownership of the building so as to register a case under Section 18 of the Sindh Cultural Heritage (Preservation) Act, 1994 for illegal demolishing of the building.

Unfortunately, most heritage buildings are situated South of the metropolis where the builders’ mafias have demolished several protected buildings, for years.

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