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Tourists allowed back into Murree after protest from traders

Only 8,000 vehicles to remain at the hill station

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 15, 2022 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jan 15, 2022 | Last Updated: 1 week ago

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Local authorities have allowed tourists back into Murree more than a week after 22 people were killed in a snowstorm at the hill station.

The ban on the entry of tourist vehicles was lifted after protests from traders on Saturday.

However, only a limited number of vehicles would be allowed into the region.

The ban was imposed on Friday, January 7 after over 100,000 vehicles crowded the hill station. The same night a snowstorm hit several vehicles stuck in a traffic jam at the Kuldana Road and Jhika Gali Road killing 22 people, including 10 children.

After the disaster, almost all tourists left the hill station by Sunday, and Murree presented a deserted look.

The government extended the ban on the entry of tourists, bringing the hotel business to a standstill.

Traders on Saturday protested against the ongoing ban by shutting down their hotels and shops. They were also planning to stage a protest on the Murree-Islamabad Expressway.

The government issued a notification on Saturday evening, lifting the ban on the entry of tourist vehicles.

According to the notification issued by Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner, only 8,000 vehicles would be allowed into the hill station. Traffic police officials have been instructed to devise a plan to ensure that the limit does not exceed.

Those planning to travel to Murree will be required to start their journey early as the entry would be banned between 5pm and 5am, according to a notification.

Vehicles carrying food items or other essentials have been exempted from the night travel ban. Similarly, vehicles used by the local population have been exempted from the limit set by Rawalpindi DC.

Earlier in the day, the Murree Traders Association staged a protest at Musyari. The protesters used inappropriate language against public officials and even threatened a PTI MNA by name.

“Sadaqat Abbasi, come here. We would throw Rs500 eggs on you,” said the president of the Murree Traders Association.

Assistant Commissioner Murree Umar Maqbool said that it was a small protest and most of the protestors were not even from Murree.

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