Wednesday May 25, 2022

Second spell of heavy snowfall in Murree and Galyat continues

January 23, 2022

MURREE: Second spell of heavy snowfall which started Friday night is continuing uninterrupted in Murree and Galyat and at the time of filing of this report more than one foot of snowfall was recorded in Murree and adjacent areas while almost two feet of snowfall was reported to be recorded in the areas of Galyat.

Snow cleaning operation by the Punjab Highway Department along with the assistance of other departments of Murree including Rescue 1122, traffic police, army and civil defence is continuing in Murree.

However, the continuing snowfall is creating hurdles in clearing the roads and frequent traffic jams are reported in some areas.

For the safety measures of the tourists, during heavy snowfall spell, the district and local administration has decided that only 8,000 vehicles of tourists would be allowed to enter Murree on daily basis but 800 traders and business community seems dissatisfied with this strategy of the district administration and it is blamed by the local business community that even 8,000 vehicles are not allowed to enter Murree and long queues of vehicles can be seen on entry points of Murree at Satra Meel toll plazas, which is badly affecting the business of the locals as the only resource of having their livelihood depends on the business during the snowfall season and if the strategy adopted by the district administration is not reviewed, the people of Murree would have to face serious economic problems.

According to Aafaq Abbasi Shani, a local resident of Galyat, the snow clearing operation in the areas of Galyat on main Nathiagali-Abbottabad Road is under way and the snow clearing operation is being supervised by Galyat Development Authority (GDA); main road is cleared up to Barrian, the last point of KP, it is pertinent to mention that tourism activity and entry in the areas of Galyat is also restricted by GDA.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal, Noorul Amin Mengal commissioner Rawalpindi Division, Tahir Farooq deputy commissioner Pindi visited Murree Friday and reviewed the arrangements for clearing snow from roads in Murree.

The chief secretary also inspected the control room set up for monitoring and issued necessary instructions to the authorities. He appreciated the arrangements made by the administration, police and security agencies and said all preparations for relief activities during the snowfall were complete and the control room was fully operational. He said cooperation of tourists is of key importance, adding that they must follow SOPs and refrain from travelling to Murree when traffic police advise them not to go there.