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Tourists throng hills to enjoy snowfall despite a working day

07 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Snowfall in Murree and surrounding hills on Thursday attracted a large number of tourists from different parts of the country.

Although there were no vacations, holiday or weekend, a large number of people, especially from the urban areas of Punjab and Karachi, travelled to Murree to enjoy the snowfall.

Traffic jams were witnessed at various places on the road leading to the hilly station.

The resorts including Bhurban, New Murree, Kashmir Point, Pindi Point, Mall Road and Ayubia were packed with tourists.

Galyaat, Hazara and Bhurbhan received more snow as compared to Murree city.

All restaurants were packed with tourists and the demand of woollies also went up, as mercury has gone below the freezing point. A great crowd was observed at hotels and place for eatables, where people were enjoying hot food and hot drinks to keep themselves warm.

Businessmen and shopkeepers of hilly resorts were happy in view of increased business activity.

Sameer Ali, a visitor from Lahore, while talking to APP, said Murree had all the facilities for enjoyment. "I am here today with my family and enjoying this awesome weather," he added.

The local administration should develop these areas further with additional facilities to attract visitors and promote tourism, he said.

Another tourist, Waqas Anwar, from Karachi complained that eatables, woollies and other accessories available there to beat the cold weather were too much expensive.

The shopkeepers are exploiting the situation and fleecing the customers, he said.

Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Syed Ishtiaq Hussain Shah on Thursday issued a travel advisory for tourists planning to visit Murree while the hill station is having snowfall.

Talking to APP, he advised motorists to avoid using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-run and old model vehicles to ensure safe journey to the mountainous resort where people from across the country throng to see scenic beauty of Malka-e-Kohsar.

He said the traffic police have stopped movement of heavy vehicles on the road leading to Murree to avoid any untoward incident as the road becomes slippery after and during snowfall.

Shah stressed motorists to use tyre chains as it ensures better road grip, minimising risk of slipping.

Meanwhile, as the city continues to receive rain, various roads were inundated by rainwater, which slowed movement of traffic and caused a number of accidents. Many motorists rammed into vehicles creeping on overloaded roads, while a number of altercations took place between motorists.

The commuters were perplexed that as various roads had proper drainage system, the rainwater was flowing on the roads, not only damaging them but also creating problems for the commuters.

They demanded that the civic bodies rectify the situation.

End.

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