Probe team recommends crackdown on encroachments in Murree

ISLAMABAD: An investigation body probing the death of 22 people after being stuck in their vehicles overnight during a heavy snowstorm in Murree decided to seal commercial establishments lacking designated parking spaces.

The body visited multiple neighbourhoods in the popular mountain resort town and decided to shut down hotels purportedly built illegally, shopping centres and apartments in addition to any establishment that does not offer a parking facility.

The body observed that encroachments along the roads leading to the town are a major source of traffic congestion in Murree and recommended action against them.

The team is expected to record statements of more affectees of the tragedy later today.

Days after the deaths, the Rawalpindi administration allowed from January 17 the entry of travelers’ vehicles into the town subject to conditions. A notification was also issued by the Rawalpindi commissioner’s office in this regard.

According to the notification, 8,000 vehicles would be allowed to enter the town daily from all points in normal weather conditions.

The ban on entry of vehicles will not be applicable to the residents of Murree and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, while the chief traffic officer (CTO) will be responsible for formulating a traffic plan.

Tourists will not be able to enter the hill station between 5:00 pm and 5:00 am. The CTO will be in touch with the meteorological department.

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