Murree’s Current Tourists Ban and Previous Incidents

News Desk3 months ago
Babar Azam and Azmatullah Omarzai Enjoy a Game of Snooker

In Murree, authorities have imposed restrictions on additional tourist entries due to the heavy influx of visitors causing traffic jams after a substantial snowfall in the hill station. Tourists in Murree encountered increased challenges as power outages and a shortage of snow removal equipment exacerbated road conditions.

To address the congestion issues, the Islamabad Deputy Commissioner issued an order to limit the entry of more tourists into Murree, citing long queues of vehicles on the roads connecting Rawalpindi-Islamabad to the hilly areas in Murree and its surroundings.

In an effort to improve traffic flow, the police have closed several main roads, including Kashmir Point, Mall Road, Guldana Road, and other thoroughfares, for two-way traffic. The district administration has set up a round-the-clock traffic control room to assist citizens.

The deputy commissioner of Islamabad, in a social media post, announced the administration’s decision to prohibit tourist entry into Murree from ’17 Meel’ due to the heavy snowfall. “The decision was made after consulting with Murree management, and tourists will be allowed once the congestion subsides,” added the DC.

During the snowfall in Murree, the civil administration, particularly the highways and WAPDA departments, faced criticism as the hill station became crowded with thousands of tourists. Slow preparations for snow removal led to traffic chaos on Murree’s main roads and arteries, with the administration’s older vehicles proving inefficient, leaving many stranded on the roadsides.

Also Read: Frostbite or Cold Injury, a Common but Fatal Disease

Significant snowfall incidents in Murree over the last decade

2022 Murree Snowstorm

MUREE, PAKISTAN

The latest and most devastating event took place on January 7, 2022. A sudden and intense snowfall, accumulating over 4 feet, coincided with a substantial influx of tourists, estimated between 100,000 to 250,000. This resulted in chaotic conditions, with vehicles stranded on roads, forcing numerous tourists to endure a night in freezing temperatures within their cars. Tragically, 23 lives were lost, including 10 children. This incident underscored the lack of preparedness, revealing shortcomings in warnings, infrastructure, and emergency response.

2017 Snowfall

In January 2017, Murree experienced heavy snowfall, causing power outages and road blockages. Although there were no reported casualties, the incident caused considerable inconvenience and disruption for both tourists and residents.

Murree 2017 snow fall incident
Murree 2017 snow fall incident

2008 Snowfall

Cold kills 21 stuck in cars in heavy snow at Murree - Business Recorder

In January 2008, heavy snowfall led to the closure of the Murree Expressway for several days. Numerous tourists found themselves stranded, requiring assistance from the army for rescue.

These incidents highlight the challenges Murree faces due to snowfall. It is crucial to recognize the potential dangers associated with such weather conditions.

To stay safe while visiting Murree in winter, consider the following tips:

  • Dress warmly in layers.
  • Ensure a full tank of gas and a charged phone.
  • Carry food and water in case of being stranded.
  • Avoid travel during heavy snowfall.
  • Follow the guidance provided by local authorities.

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