Of the 29 snow ploughs stationed in Murree, 20 remained idle during the weekend blizzard that killed 23 tourists, while many of the drivers and staff were off duty as well, it has emerged.
Relevant authorities reportedly did not order to deploy the parked snow ploughs, either before or during the snowstorm, leaving families trapped in a heavy traffic jam and up to four feet of snow.
An investigation committee has also recorded statements from operational staff posted at Murree, but has not yet been able to elicit any sufficient answers from officials in regards to why there was a seemingly delayed response to the calamity.
The investigation committee did record that district administration had managed to turn away nearly 50,000 vehicles at different entry routes into Murree, possibly saving numerous lives.
Earlier this week, the Islamabad High Court held a hearing to probe the inaction of the government, specifically that of the NDMA, the government authority tasked with responding to national disasters and emergencies. At the hearing, it was disclosed that the NDMA had not held a meeting in nearly four years, leading Chief Justice Athar Minallah to comment that he considered the NDMA complicit in the tragedy.
The Lahore High Court has summoned the hotel owner’s association of Murre to appear before the court on January 19.