Following public condemnation of Murree residents, who reportedly raised prices on everything from food and water to hotels and snow removal services, the Lahore High Court granted the five-member Murree Investigation Committee until January 31 to finish its report.
In response to the allegations of price gauging, the court has requested a list of all hotels constructed in Murree in the past three years, along with information of the assistant commissioners appointed at that time.
A few days after the incident, the Murree assistant commissioner sealed 15 hotels after they were found to be overcharging tourists stranded in the hill station.
The court has summoned a list of all the hotels constructed in the city in the last three years along with the details of assistant commissioners appointed during this time.
The Court also heard that the director of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority and the deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi would both need more time to compile their findings on the report, as they were newly appointed just a few days following the tragedy.
Last week, a petition was filed by a group of citizens alleging that government inaction and poor planning had led to the deaths of the 22 tourists that fateful weekend.
“There was no traffic or any other plan despite a weather forecast,” the complainants said.
The government has come received criticism for what some have termed an ‘insensitive’ response as well as a lack of general preparedness or foresight. At a recent hearing in front of the Islamabad High Court, Chief Justice Athar Minallah took to task district and national authorities for what he said was a ‘failure’ to fulfill their roles.