Sunday Jan 09, 2022
MURREE: Following week-long extreme weather conditions, Murree saw sunlight for the first time in almost seven days on Sunday.
The hill station continues to recover from the snowstorm tragedy in which more than 20 tourists, mostly trapped in their cars, died.
However, a day after the tragic incident, the authorities have removed snow from all major roads to normalise traffic at the hill station. Snow, however, could not be removed from the roads in the upper areas of Murree.
Electricity was restored in urban areas of the hill station last night, while the rural areas have been without power for four days. The snowstorm affected the mobile phone services in the area, while internet services are still suspended in Murree.
According to a spokesperson of the Galiyat Development Authority, snow has been removed from the road between Nathia Gali and Abbottabad, adding that the road between Nathia Gali and Barrian has been reopened for traffic. He maintained that an operation was underway to remove snow from all the streets in Galiyat.
After sprinkling salt on the snow and slippery roads, the stranded tourists will be allowed to leave for their destinations, he added. No more tourists will be allowed to enter Galiyat till further orders, the spokesperson added.
The authorities have removed snow from all the major roads to normalise traffic at the hill station, Punjab’s traffic police said today morning.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Punjab police said that all the key arteries of the city have been cleared for traffic. Lawrence College Road and a section of the road between Jhika Gali and Lower Topa Express Highway have been reopened for traffic, he added.
The spokesperson, however, said that roads leading to Murree from Islamabad and Rawalpindi will remain closed today. He said that police officials have been deployed on the roads to stop tourists from moving towards the hill station amid the current weather situation.
During the last 24 hours, over 500 families have been shifted to safe sites from the snowfall-affected Murree, the police said, adding that over 600 vehicles have been evacuated from the hill station till last night.
Meanwhile, sharing a video of Murree roads on his Twitter handle, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Shahbaz Gill confirmed that all key arteries of the hill station have been cleared to traffic.
Paying tribute to the personnel of the Pakistan Army, officials of the district administration, Rawalpindi police and the local volunteers for clearing the roads overnight, Gill said that 600 to 700 vehicles had been evacuated from the hill station till last night (Saturday).
In a statement, Murree’s DSP traffic said that all stranded tourists were rescued last night. He, too, confirmed that all roads in Murree have been cleared for traffic.
The police officer said that the vehicles stuck in snow have been shifted to safe sites, adding that they have been facing difficulty in removing snow from the roads due to the vehicles. The road between Klidna and Barian will be reopened for traffic today, he added.