In the wake of a devastating Snowstorm In Murree claiming precious human lives, the rescue operation by the government continues in the surroundings of the calamity that hit Hill Station. The rescue operation that was halted owing to bad weather conditions has been resumed. On Saturday it was reported that at least 22 tourists had frozen to death due to heavy snowfall and consequent congestion on the roads to Murree on Friday night. In view of the situation, the government declared an Emergency Situation In Murree as a calamity hit the area and a rescue operation started in which thousands of vehicles and masses stuck in the snow have been rescued and shifted to the nearby hotels and resthouses and others sent back to their respective cities.
On the other hand, the roads towards Murree are still closed for public movement except for emergency and rescue operations and for the supply of essential commodities. The government has also imposed a ban on entry points of Shogran, Naran, and Kaghan in order to avert any possible human tragedy in view of the ongoing weather conditions. The police reported that 33,373 vehicles have been evacuated and expressway road is completely clear and the roads at Kuldana and Barian area would be cleared by Sunday (today) night. The CM Punjab through a Tweet said that all the management of Rawalpindi is present on the spot to monitor rescue and relief operations. He said that the tourists in the camps and guest houses are being provided with all basic necessities.
Commissioner Rawalpindi Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah on Saturday said that the tragedy happened on the road towards Galyat region however the roads between Islamabad and Murree remained open. He said the areas of the city towards Galyat also received heavy snow which stuck the tourists who had gone to the area unprepared and wanted to enjoy snowfall for only a few hours but got trapped owing to the traffic congestion. He said that all government residences have been opened for the tourists and a shuttle service also started that provides services from Lower Topa to Bhara Kahu. He said, “The supply of warm clothes is also continuing. At present, the first priority is to help the tourists and ensure their evacuation to a safer place. In this regard, the district administration has also launched a shuttle service,”
It is pertinent to mention here that the incumbent government is striving hard to promote tourism as an industry in the country. At least seven integrated Tourism Zones have already been approved by the government. The government is of the view that the promotion of tourism will not only provide entertainment and recreation but also boost up economic activities. The Murree Saga has really jolted the vision of the Prime Minister raising many questions on the ability of the administration to optimize the available resources of tourism and entertainment let alone the formation of the new ones. The Prime Minister said he is shocked to hear the news of tragic deaths on the tourist spot and ordered an inquiry to probe into the matter so as to avert such tragedies in the future.