Snow removal underway in Galiyat. — Dawn
Snow removal underway in Galiyat. — Dawn

ABBOTTABAD: Winter tourism resumed in Galiyat area on Tuesday after a break of 10 days.

The tourism-related activities had come to a halt in the entire region after 22 tourists lost life in Murree hill station for being stuck in their vehicles due to heavy snowfall.

The Galiyat Development Authority and district administration allowed the entry of tourists to the area following improvement in weather conditions.

Ahsan Hameed, a spokesman for the GDA, told Dawn that tourists were encouraged in Galiyat region via the Abbottabad-Nathiagali Road but certain restrictions were in place to prevent any damage to public life.

GDA says visitors asked to follow guidelines

He said tourists had to follow guidelines on travel, stay and parking.

The spokesman said the Met Office had forecast another spell of snowfall in Galiyat from Wednesday, so the GDA and local administration had decided to restrict the movement of tourists within a 25km area between Bagnotar and Dongagali over fears of landslides and avalanches.

He said the access to the area beyond Dongagali to Bariyan would remain restricted.

The spokesman said all roads, including 49.9km long main artery of Bagnotar to Bariyan, Ayubia-Khanaspur Road and six residential areas roads that were under the domain of the GDA were cleared of snow making the road travel hassle-free.

He said for the facility of tourists, the GDA had deployed 60 helpers on the main Bagnotar to Bariyan Road at every 5 km distance for the assistance of tourists, while the officials of traffic police and Rescue 1122 were posted to key points for early response.

Mr Hameed said the entry of tourists to the region was discouraged from Bariyan side and it was allowed from Abbottabad side with their number restricted to 20,000-25,000 for safety reasons.

Meanwhile, Galiyat additional assistant commissioner Aminul Hasan said there were a total of 45 link roads with a total length of 437km in the area and of it, 237km area was snow-bound.

He said snow had been cleared from 38 of the 45 roads, while the other roads would be reopened in a couple of days.

Mr Hasan said snow was cleared from the main road between Abbottabad and Bariyan, but four points within a strip of 12km in Toheedabad, Kundla, Moorti and Darwazakass were vulnerable to avalanches and landslides.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2022

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