By: Najeeullah Rajput
In its preliminary report, the Punjab government set up an inquiry committee to determine who was responsible for the Murree tragedy. The report points out the sad fact that despite the advance warning of the Meteorological Department, the administration took timely safety measures, did not stop the tourists from coming to avoid difficulties and did not make proper arrangements for their guidance. The tragic aspect of the matter is that the local administration was found missing from the scene in these fatal moments. The game of death continued throughout the night while the administration started its action at 8 in the morning. The casualties would have been even higher if the troops had not arrived overnight for rescue operations. According to the report, the roads of Murree have not been repaired for two years and the machinery required for clearing snow was on the spot. Carbon monoxide has been cited as a major cause of tourist deaths. Due to heavy snowfall, the emission of this odorless gas in two or four glass-enclosed vehicles puts a person to sleep in silence as the closed environment stops the circulation of oxygen in his body. Such a tragedy could have been avoided if it had been announced in advance through advertisements or some other means. Those who died in the tragedy on Sunday were buried amid the sighs and sobs of their families. Tourists were banned from coming to Murree and some other measures were taken but normalcy could not be fully restored. The Punjab Chief Minister has announced to give Rs. After the air tour, the Chief Minister also announced to give district status to Murree, funds for construction of link roads, construction of two parking plazas and construction of two new police stations, which will benefit the people of Murree as well as tourists. ۔ The locals fully supported the tourists and sheltered most of them in their homes but the brutal treatment meted out to them by the hoteliers deserves less condemnation. Hotel owners multiplied their room rates to take advantage of their helplessness. That’s why most people spend the night shivering in their cars. A man was forced to take refuge by giving his wife jewelry. It is said that in the past there has been more snowfall but never so many deaths. The opposition has called for a debate and protest in the National Assembly and the Senate over the tragedy. The Prime Minister has already ordered an inquiry. The Punjab government’s inquiry committee has been asked to submit its report within seven days. The recommendations made in such investigations are usually to appease the public who, over time, forget their grievances and governments quietly feel safe, but there is a need for the country to attract tourists. In order to make it attractive and safe, these recommendations should be fully implemented. Pakistan is a major tourist attraction and hundreds of places besides Murree are the focus of their attention. Pakistan can earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange through tourism. In the light of the tragic experience of the Murree tragedy, attention should be paid to ensuring all safety measures and facilities for tourists.