- Interior Minister requests tourists to avoid travelling to Murree and Galiyat
Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Friday that the government has temporarily blocked all routes leading to Murree and Galiyat to avoid any untoward situation amid extreme weather conditions, Aaj News reported.
His statement comes hours after heavy snowfall triggered an avalanche in Murree, creating difficulties for tourists stuck on the roads.
Rashid requested tourists, especially families, to avoid travelling to Murree and Galiyat.
He added over 100,000 vehicles had so far entered Murree and Galiyat from Islamabad.
“Due to heavy traffic and presence of a large number of tourists, the traffic movement towards Murree is very slow,” he said, adding that the administration of Rawalpindi and Murree was efficiently working to facilitate the citizens.
Later, the National Highways & Motorway Police (NHMP) confirmed that the hill station had been closed for all kinds of traffic.
“We request all motorists and tourists to cooperate with the authorities,” the motorway police wrote on its official Twitter account.
The NHMP further asked motorists to call on 130 if it is absolutely necessary for them to travel to Murree.
Earlier, the Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner (DC) said that due to heavy snowfall, the administration had decided to close the entrance to deal with the emergency situation.
“District administration and police have been mobilised to evacuate those trapped in traffic,” the DC said in a statement.
He said that a control room has been established in the office of DC Rawalpindi for monitoring and mitigation of any emergency situation.
The administration has advised tourists to contact 051-9292963 or 0300-5540819 (Mobile/Whatsapp) in case of emergency.
Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Police chief, Sajid Kiani, said that traffic is being diverted from toll plazas and entrances while roads are open for exit from Murree.