Govt extends ban on entry in Murree for six days

Dunya News


Govt extends ban on entry in Murree for six days

MURREE (Dunya News) – Days after 23 people lost their lives in Murree when their cars became stuck on snow-covered roads, the government has extended the ban on entry into Murree for six more days.

The announcement was made by the National Highway and Motorway Police (NHMP) on its Twitter handle. “Entry into Murree Banned,” wrote the NHMP on its Twitter handle, adding the ban will remain in place until 17 January 2022 as per directions issued by the District Administration.

On Monday, the ban on tourists’ entry in Murree and Galiyat had been extended for 24 hours.

The extension in ban was announced by Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid.

The minister had also appealed the tourists and families to avoid travelling to Murree due to heavy traffic jam there.

Sheikh Rashid had mentioned in a statement that a large number of tourists were present in Murree and Galiyat to enjoy the weather after the area received heavy snowfall.

He said that the administration of Rawalpindi and Murree were efficiently working to facilitate the citizens.

He had added that due to heavy traffic and presence of a large number of tourists, the traffic movement towards Murree was very slow. He added over 100,000 vehicles have so far entered Murree and Galiyat from Islamabad.

On Saturday, at least 23 people died in an enormous traffic jam caused by tens of thousands of visitors thronging the hill town to see unusually heavy snowfall.

The resort town of Murree, around 70 kilometres of Islamabad, was inundated with tourists and daytrippers last week after unusually heavy snow turned it into a winter wonderland.

But a blizzard from Friday onwards felled trees and blocked narrow roads leading in and out of the town, which clings to steep hills and valleys at an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500 feet).

"It was not snow, and not even heavy snow, it was unprecedented... with four to five feet in few hours," Tariq Ullah, an administrative official in nearby Nathia Gali, told AFP Sunday.

"(I) never saw such a huge snowstorm in my life. There were strong winds, uprooted trees, avalanches. People around were terrified, each having his or her own account of suffering."

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Monday announced Rs 33.5 million financial assistance for the injured and the families of deceased persons who lost their lives in Murree two days back.

Extending his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families, the CM said that financial assistance could not compensate any life. All the sympathies of the Punjab government were with bereaved families; he said and announced that Rs17.6 million aid would be given to heirs of those who lost their lives in Murree.

Meanwhile, a committee led by additional chief secretary (ACS) Home, would submit its report within seven days for taking action against the negligent officers. Instructions have also been issued for short- and long-term planning to avoid such incidents in future, the CM added.