ISLAMABAD - Murree road on Thursday remained jam packed with stream of vehicles after tourists especially from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and other adjoining areas thronged the hill station - Murree - to beat the heat and enjoy the weeklong Eid vacations.

From Rawalpindi to Dhokri chowk and then to Chatter Park, the road was jam packed with cars moved at snails’ pace.

According to the Murree control room, about 60,000 vehicles entered Murree between 8am to 4pm on Thursday and 95,000 vehicles on Wednesday, the second day of Eid.

Youngsters, families, elderly, there were all people from all age groups were witnessed chatting and enjoying scenic beauty, ignoring all harsh weather conditions.

The drivers were patiently shifting their foot between accelerator and brakes without honking.

“We are on the Murree Road for the last five hours and have hardly covered five kilometers,” Dr. Qamar, a tourist from Multan, told The Nation.

He said, in the absence of recreational activities and prevailing law and order situation, he had planned to spend his Eid vacations in Murree, but due to this rush his visit was becoming hectic. He, however, said that he was happy enjoying the company of his family.

Um-e-Farwa, another tourist from Lahore, traveling with her family and relatives in a big SUV, was happy despite all the rush.

“It is part of the deal, rather, I feel good seeing a lot of happy people around without any fear of any terrorism,” Farwa said. Her destination was Nathiagali.

As the traffic police was busy managing the traffic flow, the youngsters, taking full advantage of the situation, continued to drive their bikes recklessly, making their way in zigzags, and doing other dangerous stunts on two wheelers.

Shouting after bikers and transporters to remain in lane and to follow the traffic rules, Khalid Hussain, a traffic police official, seemed exhausted while standing in hot and humid weather.

“Who says, Pakistan is a poor country; look at these expensive cars, and these tourists, who will spend hundred of thousands of rupees in one day on some day recreation”, Hussain lamented, while controlling the traffic at the Barakahu U-turn.

According to the official data, 350 Punjab Police officials were deployed to maintain smooth flow of traffic to Murree and onwards, out of which 110 were positioned at Murree.

It was due to the rush that the Punjab government had reportedly restricted entry to Expressway and told visitors to go some other destination.

According to reports, the Mall Road in Murree was filled with people.

Similarly, all roads were blocked from Lower Topa, on Expressway and from Sunny Bank on G.T. Road.

Prices of hotel rooms and guesthouses besides other food items were sky high. The rent of a hotel room, which was about Rs 1500 in normal days, was about Rs 5000 and above.

Naran was the favourite destination of tourists coming from Sindh, especially Karachi. The tourists complained that transporters were overcharging.

“I had been to Naran one year back in June and hired a Suzuki Bolan for my three-day trip to Naran against Rs 18,000, but now they are asking for Rs 30, 000,” Asadullah, a tourist at Faizabad car rental service, said.

He said that his family has travelled all the way to Islamabad to go to Naran and they have no option but to pay the rent.