ABBOTTABAD: ‘Plant for Pakistan Day’ was observed here on Monday by Northern Forest Region-II and also joined by Commissioner Hazara division Amjad Ali Khan as the chief guest.

The chief guest planted deodar sapling on the premises of Commissioner House Abbottabad.

Javed Arshad, chief conservator NFR-II, informed the commissioner Hazara that 13.242 million plants will be planted in the division during the current spring season under the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project.

Malik Sagheer Ahmad, chief conservator watershed, Ejaz Qadir, chief conservator, Lower Hazara, Mohammad Shuaib, chief conservator Upper Hazara, print and electronic media representatives participated in the event arranged at Shimla Hill Abbottabad. About 5,000 chir and deodar saplings were planted during the event.

ROADS CLEARED OF SNOW: The main Abbottabad-Muree Road has mostly been cleared of snow, while all other link roads have been reopened to vehicular traffic.

After the heavy snowfall, vehicular traffic on all arteries linking several rural localities with the main Nathiagali-Abbottabad road was suspended.

Raza Ali Habib, director general Galiyat Development Authority, said the major bottleneck in improvising smooth flow of commuters in the winter season was unexpected snowfall and snow slides on a large scale at different spots.

He said Galiyat region had become a major tourist attraction because of improvement in infrastructure development. He added that over 2.5 million tourists visited Galiyat region during the last year.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Amir Afaq said thousands of tourists visited the district this winter to enjoy the snowfall, but due to unprecedented snowfall, the authorities faced problems in road clearance due to uninterrupted flow of tourists.

Talking to mediapersons, he said in many areas of Galiyat glaciers and snow slides were reported which took a lot of time to get removed. He added that 13 feet of snow had been recorded in Thandyani, Ayubia, Changlagali, Dongagali and other hilly areas of Galiyat.

Meanwhile, according to the Met office, a new three-day-long spell of heavy snow is expected in Galiyat region from Feb 12 to 15. Another spell of snowfall is also expected from Feb 25.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2019