rawalpindi - Heavy snowfall hit Murree on Saturday causing troubles for locals and the tourists who had flocked to the hill station.

The snow has blocked several roads and some tourists had to be rescued by the traffic police while using snow bikes. The prices of coals, LPG, hotel rooms and fuels have been jacked up with no action on part of the district government.

Chief Traffic Officer Muhammad Bin Ashraf deputed extra force of traffic wardens in Murree to facilitate the tourists and other road users. Security has also been beefed up by police on orders of City Police Officer Abbas Ashan.

The traffic police and Galiyat Development Authority have also issued an advisory to the tourists, urging them to avoid unnecessary travel to snow-bound areas.

According to details, the heaviest snowfall of the year so far has spelt troubles for locals and tens of hundreds of tourists in Murree. Due to snowfall, the normal life has paralysed as WAPDA suspended the supply of electricity. In many areas, the low gas pressure also irked the residents.

Scores of vehicles of tourists got stuck in snow-filled roads with stranding families in their vehicles. However, the tourists were seemed happy despite facing troubles in snowfall.

“The snow fall has delighted me because I came from Lahore to enjoy it,” said Amir Niazi while talking to media men. He said that the government and police should control increasing incidents of misbehaviour with the tourists by the hotel owners and their agents.

Another tourist Shazia Abbas was of view that though the intense snowfall had made it difficult for them to move their vehicles on road yet she was enjoying the weather. She said that she along with her family had arrived in the hill station from Gujrat to enjoy snowfall.

On the other hand, the locals also lodged complaints that the dealers and owners of wood stalls had increased the prices of LPG, woods and coal in winter season. “The price of LPG has been jacked up to Rs300 per kilogram which is injustice,” said Dr Sheraz. He said that deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner Murree should take notice of the looting spree launched by the local dealers.

Others said that price of coal was being charged Rs200 for one kilogram while woods were being sold at Rs600 per mound. They appealed to the government to take action against the local mafia for fleecing the people.

Wajid Satti, the spokesman to CTO Bin Ashraf, while talking to media men, said that huge numbers of tourists flocked to Murree to enjoy snowfall and traffic police have made comprehensive arrangements to facilitate the tourists. He said that Murree is lacking parking space due to rush of tourists. He said so far more than 41,000 vehicles have entered Murree. He said that extra police force has been deputed in the hill station. He said that an advisory has been issued to tourists asking them to keep extra fuel with them, to not take selfies while parking vehicles along with roadside and keep steel chain with them to wrap on the wheels in order to move in snow filled road easily.

He also said that the tourists should follow speed limits and should contact at traffic police helpline number 051-9269200 in case of any trouble.

CTO Bin Ashraf also directed the traffic force to help out the stranded tourists with snow bikes. He also ordered the wardens to facilitate the tourists.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Umer Jahangir was not available for his comments over issue of price hike in hill station.