RAWALPINDI: Many people’s plans of heading to Murree for the Independence Day weekend will be disrupted, with a new order being passed to allow only those with a hotel booking to proceed towards the hill station.

Policemen would be deployed at five pickets, jointly manned by Punjab and Islamabad Police and would ask all travellers to show proof of booking between August 13 and 16. Anyone unable to show confirmation of room reservations would be turned away.

Permanent residents of Murree, however, would be exempted from showing proof of hotel reservation and would instead need to show their Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) with Murree addresses.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif frequently visits Murree, especially on the weekends. He directed the police and local administration to ensure that roads are not as busy this year. Punjab Police Chief Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera visited Murree two days ago to review security and traffic arrangements.

Meanwhile, motorcyclists would also not be allowed to enter Murree city on Independence Day weekend. Those motorcyclists racing one another and performing acrobats such as one-wheeling would be arrested.

Police officials told Dawn that pickets have been jointly established by Islamabad and Rawalpindi Police at Rawal Dam Chowk, Satra Mile Toll Plaza, Dhokri Chowk, Lake View Park and Dhoke Raj Gan.

City Traffic Police Spokesperson said motorcyclists have been banned from entering Murree city as they add to the traffic mess and create problems for tourists. “Stunts on motorcycles endanger the lives of those riding the bikes and others on the road,” the spokesperson said.

Parking of vehicles within 200 meters of an intersection has also been banned in Murree, while no type of vehicle will be allowed to ply on the Mall Road.

Similarly, the Regional Police Officer Muhammad Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja directed all district police officers in Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal to strictly impose the ban on performing stunts on motorcycles and arrest all those doing so.

The RPO advised tourists to visit Murree city on August 13, at various times during the day and ensure that they book rooms in hotels and rest houses, before they leave their homes.

The divisional police chief also advised parents to not allow their children to drive to Murree on motorcycles during the Independence Day weekend and to remind them of the dangers of stunts such as one-wheeling.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2015

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