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Murree profiteers responsible: Netizens call for boycott

Reports emerged that the hotel & shop owners exploited the situation in Murree. They doubled the prices for hotel rooms and basic food items. The families begged them to compromise but they refused. Left with no choice, many families slept in their cars which resulted in the deaths.

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Netizens are calling for the boycott of Murree as they hold hotel owners responsible for the recent deaths. Netizens slammed the hotel owners on social media for increasing prices of their services despite the emergency situation in Murree.

Around 21 people died in their cars while being stranded on the roads leading to Murree owing to the snowstorm. Thousands of tourists also remained stranded during the snowstorm. As a result, the government announced an emergency situation while deploying Pakistan Army for rescue and speedy evacuation.

Read more: FWO dozers help open up Murree Expressway

Fortunately, roads started to clear and over 500 families were rescued. However, reports emerged that the hotel & shop owners exploited the situation. They doubled the prices for hotel rooms as helpless families turned to them to escape the snowstorm. The families requested them to reduce the prices but the hotel owners refused. Left with no choice, many families slept in their cars which resulted in the death of 21 people, including 10 children.

Tourists claimed that hotels priced a room, originally for Rs 3000, at Rs 40,000. The families begged the hotel owners to compromise however they told the families to leave if they could not pay. They also charged Rs 1000 hourly for heaters. Moreover, prices of basic food items also tripled.

Netizens demand boycott of Murree

Owing to the ruthless attitude of the hotel owners who only cared about the profits, the public is calling for the boycott of Murree. According to the public, the small hill station depends on tourism for economic sustenance. However, if people boycott Murree, then the profit-hungry hotels will run out of business.

“Things would have been different if local people and hotels were cooperative, but the reputation and conduct of the local people of Murree are very bad in this respect,” a senior government official also told AFP on condition of anonymity.

 

On another note, there were also reports of locals throwing open their homes to stranded tourists and offering food and blankets to those caught in the open. The Army also provided necessary food items to the stranded tourists. It also established four camps at various locations to provide relief to stranded tourists in the snow-hit areas of Murree and Galiyat.

Read more: FWO dozers help open up Murree Expressway

Most importantly, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Sunday formed a five-member committee to investigate the causes and lapses that led to the deaths. He made it clear that action would be taken against those responsible for this negligence in light of the inquiry report. The chief minister also promised action against hotel owners who over-charged the tourists.