Heavy downpours and snowfall have caused the temperature in Kaghan and Galiyat region to plummet while blocking several roads.
However, the slippery roads and advisories from the authorities has failed to dissuade visitors from arriving in the snow-covered hill stations of Shogran and Kaghan.
Snow and rain continued to fall in the Kaghan valley for a second consecutive day on Tuesday. Local authorities added that Shogran received around a foot of snow feet while Kaghan received three feet of snow.
It followed a similar spell which saw up to six inches of snow fall in the hilly areas of the province on Monday when Thandyani, Nathiagali and Ayubia received up to a feet of snow.
Due to the falling temperatures, visiting tourists and locals were all confined to their homes.
While the authorities issued advisories warning visitors from visiting these hill stations lest they get stuck in these areas with no food or fuel, it did not stop the trickle of tourists.
After remaining blocked for a few days due to the heavy snowfall, the Galiyat Development Authority (GDA), K-P Highways Authority (KPHA) and C&W department managed to clear the main Abbottabad-Murree road, Nathiagali-Ayubia road, Changlagali road and some other connecting roads in the region for vehicular traffic.
A large number of tourists are trapped in the region due to either heavy snow or the presence of slippery roads.
The GDA chairman has directed staff to remain vigilant to help people and clear roads for traffic.
Tourists are also flocking to the upper parts of the valley to experience the snowfall.
Locals said that as soon the cold turned extremely chilly, prices for firewood and other fuels surged across the district. Despite the surge in prices of firewood from RS200 to Rs300 per maund, the fuel has disappeared in some areas.
The situation was compounded after the forest department banned cutting of trees.
The shortage of firewood, petroleum, medicines, food items and other essentials have made the life of people in the Galiyat, Thandyani, Naran and Kaghan miserable.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AGENCIES
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2020.
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