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MURREE, Aug 31: Poultry farm businesses that have sprung up on the Murree Road right from Tret to Ghora Gali have become a threat to the environment of the hill station where people flock for its clean and bracing climate.

Poultry farmers dump garbage and poultry refuse on the road side all along the double carriageway filling the air with foul smells.

This refuse is then set on fire at night spreading the stink all around the valleys of the Galiyat.

Old visitors to the hill station remember fondly the days when the tangy fragrance of the pine forest suffused the atmosphere and could be smelled as soon as one crossed Tret.

Now visitors are seen covering their noses while winding up through this long stretch of this once pine covered road.

Murree is already facing a serious threat to its environment from highrise buildings, filthy unhygienic food joints, over population and unchecked commercial activities.

The construction of poultry farms was banned within one kilometre of the Murree road during the previous government. Their shifting had been ordered by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But since then new poultry farms have been coming up right on the main road without any check.

A huge project of poultry farms has been constructed at Arwari Peeran just on the Islamabad- Murree dual carriageway, which is claimed to be the largest in Asia.

Residents of the area have made persistent demands to stop the spread of this polluting business but the authorities concerned have paid no heed.

There may be some truth in rumours that the high ups are getting their supply of proteins free of cost.