Saturday Jan 15, 2022
MURREE: Following the administration’s decision to extend the ban on tourists entering Murree until January 17, local traders protested and observed a shutter-down strike on Saturday.
The president of the traders association confirmed that all market places remained closed due to a strike in Murree and surrounding areas.
The association, along with the local hotels association, staged a demonstration on the Murree-Islamabad expressway, urging the authorities to revoke their decision regarding a ban on the entry of tourists.
Meanwhile, the district administration has issued directives for tourists under the National Disaster Management Act 2010, under which no more than 8,000 vehicles will be allowed to enter Murree in a day after the ban is lifted on January 17.
However, the curbs will not be applicable on residents of Murree and Azad Kashmir or vehicles with government number plates.
According to the notification issued in this regard, the Rawalpindi chief traffic officer (CTO) has been directed to ensure the instructions are followed to the letter.
Moreover, vehicles, excluding LPG, petrol and food trucks, will not be allowed to enter Murree from 5pm to 5am.
The notification said that an effective system to regulate traffic will be set up in collaboration with the Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) to regulate traffic and records of all vehicles entering Murree will be maintained.
Rawalpindi district authorities have developed a plan to deal with any unanticipated incidents that may occur during the upcoming rain and snowfall spell expected in Murree after nearly two dozen lives were lost in the hill station last week.
According to a press release issued on Friday, Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali, while presiding over a meeting to review the preparations, stated that a contingency plan has been finalised in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Despite the fact that natural disasters are out of our control, we can reduce the rate of damage by implementing disaster management measures, he said.
According to the plan, during the snowfall spell, two control rooms will be established, which will be staffed 24 hours a day to listen to citizen complaints and ensure that they are provided with the necessary assistance as well as comprehensive guidance.
The control room will be established at the Deputy Commissioner's Office in Rawalpindi, as well as the Assistant Commissioner's Office in Murree.
Focal persons from all concerned departments will carry out their duties at the nerve centre.
Snow removal and traffic management have been made top priorities in the new strategy.
On January 7, a deadly snowstorm wreaked havoc and killed more than 20 people in Murree, who were left stranded overnight in their vehicles.