With the onset of winter, and prior to the arrival of tourists, the district administration has banned the use of gas cylinders for heating in hotels and guest houses in Murree.

Civil Defence Department (CDD) District Officer (DO) Civil Defence Talib Hussain said that the ban has been implemented with immediate effect, and any hotels and guest houses found in violation of the prohibition would be sealed. A case would be registered against the owners and the authorities will not hesitate to make arrests.

The implementation of the ban would be closely monitored by Assistant Commissioner Murree.

According to the DO, a considerable number of tourists from all over the country flock to Murree to enjoy the snow season and hoteliers charge them exorbitantly in the name of ‘heating’, for which they use gas cylinders in rooms.

Terming it a dangerous practice, Talib explained that the gas in these cylinders, which is heavy in volume, keeps accumulating and is in constant danger of causing explosions. Even a tiny spark from a light bulb can set off a blast, often inflicting grievous harm to human life.

Therefore, said Talib, stringent measures will be adopted to ensure that tragedies like these may be averted to the maximum extent.

“We have formed teams to inspect all hotels and guest houses every evening to make sure that their respective management is complying with the ban,” he said. “In case anyone attempts to subvert these orders, our informers have been tasked with the responsibility to alert us immediately.”

Additionally, cylinder-filling agencies have been instructed not to fill cylinders in hotel rooms. In the unfortunate event of an untoward incident occurring in any hotel room, action will be taken not only against the hotel owners but also against the contracted agency.

“We are doing our utmost to make the visits by tourists and families as safe and enjoyable as possible,” concluded the DO.