Rashid reaches Murree to monitor operation for helping stranded people

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Relief, rescue operation underway: Commissioner


Minister for Interior, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday reached Murree to monitor rescue operation.

Talking to the media, he said that the admini-stration would continue rescue operation to evacuate all stranded tourists.

He said roads from Punjab side were clear now as around 1,000 vehicles had been evacuated. He said heavy machinery would clear further roads in Gudana and Paharian while remaining 70 to 80 percent of roads had been cleared.

He said all government rest houses had been opened to help tourists on the direction of Chief Minister Punjab. He added that helicopter service would be started soon as the weather conditions got better.

Relief and rescue operation is underway in Murree to rescue tourists stranded amid heavy snowfall and traffic congestion.

Commissioner Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah along with Regional Police Officer Rawalpindi Ashfaq Ahmad Khan visited Murree on Saturday, after heavy snowstorm last night. Steps were being taken for the safe evacuation of tourists.

The RPO said that Police and administration were taking all possible steps for safe evacuation of tour-ists. He said that negligence would not be tolerated at any cost and directed to further speed up rescue activities in Murree.

Speaking on the occasion, said that senior police officers along with personnel are engaged in opera-tions at various points.

He said that Police and administration have been providing 24-hour service after snowstorm in Murree. Along with first aid, medicine, food and warm clothing are also being provided, he added.

Tourists are requested to cooperate with the police and administration and follow the instructions is-sued by the Punjab government and administration, he maintained.

According to victims detail released by Rescue 1122 Murree, the process of identifying the victims of heavy snowfall in Murree has been completed. The victims of snowfall calamity were included Zahid s/o Zahoor age 27 years from Kamalabad, Ishfaq s/o Younis 31 years old Gujranwala, Marof s/o Ashraf 31 years old from Lahore, Unknown male 30 years from Lahore, Naveed Iqbal s/o Muraqab Khan age 49 years ASI Islamabad Police from Islamabad, Naveed Iqbal 43 years old from Islamabad, 4 daugh-ters and two children under 15 years of age of Naveed Iqbal from Islamabad, Sohail Khan s/o Fazal Rehman age 27 years from Mardan, Asad s/o Zaman Shah age 22 years from Mardan, Bilal s/o Ghaffar age 21 years old from Mardan, Bilal Hus-sain s/o Syed Ghous Khan age 24 years from Kara-chi, Shahazad s/o Ismail age 46 years from Rawal-pindi, Mrs Shahzad 35 years from Rawalpindi and two child of Shahzad male and one daughter eight and nine years age.

As many as 200 personnel of the Tourist Guide Force comprising District and City Traffic Police were participating in the relief and rescue operation which was underway after heavy snowfall at Murree hill station.

According to police spokesman, the 200 members of the tourist guide force were trained personnel of District Police and Traffic Police who were performing their duties to guide and facilitate the tourists. City Police Officer CPO Rawalpindi Sajid Kayani has assigned the force to help and facilitate the tourists. CP0 Sajid Kayani said that Rawalpindi Police and district administration including the Tourist Guide Force were working together to help stranded people in Murree.

He urged that the tourists should contact 051-9269200 in case of any problem, emergency or guidance.

Spokesperson Motorway Police Yasir Mehmood on Saturday said that most of the stranded tourist have been evacuated from Murree and rest of would be sent back soon to safe places.

Motorway police have been mobilized all of its machinery to clear Murree motorway for people to go back as early as possible as light snow fall has been started again.

He said local management was also busy in evacuating tourist from hotels and their vehicles throughout the night.

Along with Motorway police he said, the National Highway Authority (NHA) was busy in opening of closed roads due to traffic. Islamabad and Rawalpindi management has closed Murree expressway except vehicles carrying logistic support.

The spokesperson appealed to people to avoid unnecessary traveling and said that it was the duty of Motorway Police to cooperate with the police and district management.

He asked the people to seek help from travel advisory issued by Motorway police and other helpline numbers given to tourists during travelling to Murree.

District Regional Transport Authority Rawalpindi has started a ‘shuttle bus service’ from Lower Topa to Bhara Kahu for the stranded tourists in Murree which has been running continuously since Saturday afternoon.

During the rescue operation in Murree, Secretary RTA Rashid Ali informed about the service. He said that this shuttle service consists of ten coaster buses which are running continuously from Lower Topa to Bhara Kahu and a large number of tourists are being transported.

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