Buzdar announces financial aid for heirs of Murree victims | The Express Tribune

The Punjab government on Sunday decided to pay financial assistance of Rs800,000 each to the families of the 23 tourists, who had lost their lives in the Murree blizzard on Friday night. A meeting was held in Gharial under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar after he conducted an aerial inspection of the areas of Murree affected by the heavy snowfall.

The Punjab CM announced financial compensation of Rs17.6 million for the heirs. During the meeting, Buzdar said the financial aid was not a cure for grief “but we share the pain of the bereaved families”.
The participants of the meeting decided that the hill station of Murree would be elevated to the status of a district.

The CM told the meeting that he had sought suggestions from the chief secretary and Board of Revenue senior member for this purpose. Buzdar also gave the nod to the setting up of two new police stations in Murree. Officers of the ranks of additional deputy commissioner and superintendent of police will be posted at the hill station with immediate effect.

Read: In pictures: Army to the rescue as deadly blizzard wreaks havoc in Murree

The chief minister said stern measures would be taken to effectively control the flow of tourists into Murree. He also directed officials to take action against hotels for overcharging tourists who were stranded because of the snowstorm. Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, provincial government spokesperson Hasaan Khawar, chief secretary, senior member of the Board of Revenue Punjab, Rawalpindi commissioner, and the IGP were among those present in the meeting.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, the provincial government spokesperson wrote: “We will complete the investigation in every aspect in the light of the instructions of the prime minister.” Khawar further stated that the Punjab government would develop a better system by identifying the flaws in the existing system from the tragedy that took the lives of tourists trapped in their vehicles by heavy snowfall.
“Our first priority was rescue, which is ongoing, then relief,” the spokesperson said in a separate video message on Twitter.

“Then a high-level inquiry will be launched and if there is any kind of negligence, then action will be taken against all those involved.” On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while expressing his shock and grief over the deaths of tourists in Murree, had ordered an inquiry into the tragedy and called preparing regulations to avert such incidents in the future.




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