The Punjab government has stepped up efforts to formally accord the status of ‘tourist district’ to Murree, known as the “Princess of Mountains” due to its natural beauty.
Murree-based Member National Assembly (MNA) Sadaqat Ali Abbasi told The Express Tribune that the proposed name of the new district will be ‘Kohsar District’.
“Giving Murree the status of a district would ensure better administration and prevent such a tragedy from occurring in the future,” said the MNA, referring to the heart-wrenching incident that resulted in the death of 22 tourists in a recent blizzard.
With its establishment, the total number of districts in Punjab will increase from 36 to 37, and it will be the first tourist district of Punjab.
The Punjab government has decided to post an Additional Deputy Commissioner, Senior Superintendent of Police and Additional District and Sessions Judge in Murree in the next seven to 10 days.
The new district will initially consist of two tehsils; Murree and Kotli Satyan .The National Assembly seats are likely to be increased from one to two, and Provincial Assembly seats from two to four.
Superintendent of Police Traffic and a new Additional Tehsildar are also being appointed besides the establishment of a new department named ‘Murree Development Authority’ for the development of tourism in the region.
The number of police stations in the new district will be increased from two to four. Two police stations will be set up in Murree and two in Kotli Satyan, while the police posts in the new district will also be increased to four.
The Punjab government, on the orders of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar, has also immediately sought suggestions from the Finance Department for demarcation in this regard. The Secretary Revenue has been directed to submit the demarcation proposals within a week.
The new Kohsar District will share borders with Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir. The appointment of additional officers will be completed this week, while instructions have also been issued to the Provincial Minister for Law and Provincial Minister for Local Government for the formal formation of the new district.
A bill in this regard will be presented in the Punjab Cabinet meeting, after which its formal approval will be sought from the Punjab Assembly.
The government has decide to appoint a permanent Deputy Commissioner, District Police Officer, Additional Deputy Commissioner General, Additional Deputy Commissioner Revenue, Tehsildar, District and Sessions Judge in the new district thereafter.
The Departments of Revenue, Forests, Wildlife, Fisheries, Municipalities and Education will be given the status of regular District Offices.
The Chief Minister has also sought suggestions and recommendations for the new district from MNA Sadaqat Abbasi, Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Major Latasib Satti and MPA Raja Saghir Ahmed.
In the new local government system, Murree has also been given the status of a regular municipal corporation.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2022.