RAWALPINDI: With another period of snowfall forecast in Murree, a comprehensive plan has been drawn up by the traffic police for the convenience of those whose access to the hill station had been restricted, following the death tragedy of 22 tourists in a blizzard last week.
Drivers with a valid license will be allowed to go to the mountain station between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. “No more than 8,000 vehicles per day would be permitted to enter Murree Hills under normal weather conditions,” said a notice issued by the relevant authorities. However, these restrictions will not be applicable to residents of Murree, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and official vehicles.
Traffic Chief (CTO) Taimoor Khan reviewed the traffic plan on Sunday during a session with Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Ajmal Satti.
According to the plan, in addition to the 268 district police personnel who will be deployed to facilitate tourists, three DSPs, 20 inspectors, 125 traffic officers, 100 traffic assistants and 20 district police tour guides will be deployed in the hills.
268 staff deployed to facilitate tourists
Special pickets have been set up on all roads leading to the hill station to avoid trouble and tourists have been asked not to park their vehicles on the side of the road to keep traffic flowing.
“Avoid taking selfies while parking on the road or driving. Avoid one-way violations and false overtaking to make your trip safer,” the CTO said, adding that mechanically sound vehicles with tool kits should be taken for the trip.
Rawalpindi Police Radio (88.6) and all official traffic police pages will continue to update citizens on the weather so they can gear up in case of an emergency.
Tourists have been advised to keep essential groceries with them and refrain from keeping car windows completely closed while chains must be used on the tires to prevent the vehicle from slipping.
A police spokesperson urged tourists to cooperate with deployed officials as they were working in extreme weather conditions. Area managers and staff at all toll plazas and entrances have also been asked to make it easier for tourists.
Orders have also been issued for the deployment of heavy machinery for immediate snow removal from the roads in addition to the distribution of awareness brochures among tourists. Authorities have been told to clear the roads immediately and sprinkle salt.
In addition, the emergency numbers of all departments should be kept by the staff while the Duty Officer will display the numbers of all departments in his office so that relevant officials can be contacted in time. Cranes and two trucks will be present at key points for rapid assistance to tourists, lifters and beaters will patrol the area.
It was also discussed at the meeting that in addition to landline numbers, a mobile phone number should also be provided so that prompt assistance can be provided in the event of a communication breakdown during heavy snowfalls.
Staff were asked to perform their duties with full capacity, sense of responsibility and teamwork to maintain an uninterrupted flow of traffic.
Posted in Dawn, January 17, 2022