Monday, May 23, 2022

Inquiry committee holds district admin responsible for Murree tragedy: sources

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LAHORE: The committee formed to probe the Murree tragedy which saw the deaths of at least 22 tourists has completed its investigation and held district administration responsible for the catastrophe, ARY News reported on Sunday citing sources.

The five-member committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary Home Zafar Nasarullah, has so far quizzed and collected records from different departments, including the district administration, police, NHA and Rescue 1122.

The preliminary findings of the probe revealed that snow-removing machinery and snowmobiles had failed to respond promptly to the Murree incident that claimed 22 lives. It was also found that snow-removing machinery ran out of fuel when it reached the incident site.

Read More: THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR MURREE TRAGEDY DESERVE TO BE HANGED: IHC

The report also pointed that the Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) did not issue any alert related to expected snowfall at the hill station.

murree tragedy initial investigation report,

NHA and Motorway Police also failed to respond swiftly to the tragedy while rescue teams started relief activities on the next day of the Murree incident, the investigation report finds.

According to the findings of the report, the deputy commissioner had visited the hill station twice in December and January. The inquiry committee will present its report to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar tomorrow.

Probe body recommends crackdown against encroachment

An investigation body probing the Murree tragedy has decided to seal commercial establishments not having parking facilities, it emerged today.

According to details, the probe body visited multiple areas of Murree and decided to seal illegally constructed hotels, shopping malls and apartments besides also sealing any establishment that does not have a parking facility.

The body declared that encroachments along the main roads leading to Murree are a major source of traffic jams in the hill station and recommended a major operation against it.

Conditional permission for tourists to enter Murree

Days after the tragedy, the Rawalpindi administration yesterday allowed the entry of vehicles into tourist spot subject to several conditions from January 17. A notification was also issued by commissioner Rawalpindi in this regard.

According to the notification, 8,000 vehicles would be allowed to enter Murree daily from all points in normal weather conditions, while the hill station will remain closed for tourists till January 17.

The ban on entry of vehicles will not be applicable to the residents of Murree and Azad Kashmir, while the Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) will formulate the Traffic Plan.

Tourists will not be able to enter the hill station between 5 pm and 5 am. The CTO will be in touch with the meteorological department.

Murree tragedy

At least 22 tourists who were stranded in their vehicles due to heavy snowfall died of the extreme weather in Murree on Friday night.

According to a report on the Murree tragedy presented to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar by the Rawalpindi administration, more than 100,000 vehicles entered Murree over the past three days. 12,000 of them exited the hill station while the rest got stuck.

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