The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) has written to all the local levels, instructing them to strictly enforce the National Building Code and Standard for approval of blueprint, monitoring and regulation in regard to building construction.

As per the letter, dispatched with necessary directives and housing designs yesterday, the local levels will need to make provision for passing the building blueprint in a manner that promotes local architecture, ancient culture and arts.

The direction will be applicable to public, private, community and partnership buildings.

“No house shall be built in areas vulnerable to rain-induced disasters such as flood, landslide and inundation. The slope of land where a house is built should not exceed 20 per cent,” the letter says, quoting the building code and standard provided by the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction.

The directive also prohibits people from building houses near rivers and streams. The building code requires the concerned local-level body to coordinate with the land revenue and survey offices to maintain the record of lands on the beds of rivers, streams, and ponds to ensure that they are not encroached for environmental protection and safety of the people.

The directive is in response to increasing public complaints regarding enforcement of the building code and standards despite a huge loss of lives and property in rain-induced disasters yearly and the 2015 earthquakes. The building code requires an architect or engineer and technician to supervise the building design, infrastructure and construction through the local level body.

The number of storeys of a house or building to be permitted for construction will depend on geographical areas, topographical condition and local laws. This building code covers the requirements for seismic analysis and design of various building structures to be constructed. It is applicable to buildings made of reinforced concrete, structural steel, steel-concrete composite, timber and masonry.