Construction Banned and Unbanned – May Queen of Hills Breathes Again

The charm of mountains, eye-captivating beauty, cool breeze, and soul-enriching experience of long walks in the hills of Murree are the things which motivates tourist to steer their vehicles towards this direction. But when this scenery is under threat, the whole notion of attraction and appeal lost value.

Punjab government had banned the construction in Murree nine years ago, but this was ineffective then and now as powerful people continue to build. Then, some months back Supreme Court took notice of this illegal construction going-on in Murree affecting the atmosphere badly. SC also banned it for few days. But no practical output was recorded. Finally, so-called construction banned of TMA (Town Municipal Administration) lifted by Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi bench in December and provincial government’s appeal was rejected. This whole game of banning and unbanning proved hardly made a point realistically.

TrulyPakistan - Murree Hills - Queen of HillsQueen of Hills – Murree – Image Source: Junaid Ahmed

I set around in the streets of Murree to know about what common people and tourists are thinking about this scenario. One hotel owner gave many insights into the matter. He told me about the irresponsibility of people making more than 3-storey building on inclined places which is very dangerous move on their part and it increases the chances of falling tremendously. In his revelations he expressed about the concern for blocking the view.

TrulyPakistan - Saving Margala Hills - Queen of HillsQueen of Hills – Murree – Image Source: Junaid Ahmed

People came to this place for beautiful view, but these disorganized and illegal buildings block the view of people living in other hotels which is a disgrace to the tourist experience. He blamed the administration for laziness and ignorance about the fact that is dangerous for the beauty of Murree.

He seemed very knowledgeable about this scheme of polluting this beauty of Murree for commercial reasons by some people. Two things happen when officers come to destroy the building: Firstly, demolish it only nominally which won’t affect the functioning of hoteling. Secondly, people construct again and showed no respect for law and concern to preserve the beauty of Murree.

TrulyPakistan - Saving Margalla Hills - Queen of HillsQueen of Hills – Murree – Image Source: Junaid Ahmed

A tourist from Gujrat was worried about climate as well. He was amazed that few years back if there had been 4-5 feet snowing, it won’t surprise people. But now people become happy with 1-2 feet of snow falling.

One resident told a little personal experience. In summer, there is so much heat that even in a place like Murree one experiences shots of sweats which is due to the deforestation caused by untamed construction resulting in the removal of thousands of trees. A shopkeeper selling handicrafts things showed me the mountains stripped off tree like Dihar and Cheear which do a lot to keep the atmosphere clean and cold.

TrulyPakistan - Saving Margalla Hills - Queen of HillsQueen of Hills – Murree – Image Source: Junaid Ahmed

To preserve the beauty of Murree there was consensus that Timber mafia to be handled with and the slogans like “Darkhat Lago, Murree Bacho” movement need to be revived again.

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About The Author – Junaid Ahmed
I am an undergrad student of MassCom at (NUST-S3H). I love to read books and watch movies. I have written a few plays and scripts for short films. Mostly, I am self-motivated. I like to take inspiration from reading autobiographies.

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