Rawalpindi - Heavy rain lashed the twin cities on Monday, creating slushy mess in the low-lying areas and disturbed the flight schedule at New Islamabad International Airport.

Similarly, traffic jams occurred in various areas which were controlled by traffic wardens and Islamabad city traffic police successfully.

The water level in Nullah Leh remained normal. District government and WASA put the officials on high alert to tackle any emergency situation.

The farmers of Potohar expressed gladness over rain, stating it would be good for seasonal corps.

The rain started in early morning and continued till filing of this report varying from drizzles to heavy downpour.

It brought the mercury down and the slushy mess on the roads threw the normal life out of gear.

The Meteorological department predicted that recent spell of rain will continue on Tuesday. It recorded 27-millimeter (mm) rain at Zero Point, 39 mm at Saidpur, 44 mm at Golra, 37 mm at the New Islamabad Airport and 31 mm at Bokra in Islamabad; 29 mm at Shamsabad and 28 mm in Chaklala in Rawalpindi.

In both the cities, the rain made a slushy mess on the sidewalks, leaving puddles in places and making it difficult for pedestrians to get across the streets and creating problems for motorists.

Several flights at New Islamabad International Airport were either cancelled due to bad weather or were rescheduled. The airport authorities confirmed that 9 flights including those for Giligit, Skardu, Mashad, Bahawalpur, Karachi and Rahimyar Khan were cancelled due to bad weather.

In the downtown and low-lying areas, the rainwater also choked some drains and littered streets with mud and rubbish exposing inefficiency of the civic bodies, especially in cantonment areas which were responsible for sewer cleaning and sanitation.

Shortly after the rain began, the IESCO (Islamabad Electric Supply Company) suspended power supply to many city and cantonment areas and the situation remained the same in case of gas supply; the people had to face absence of natural gas to light the stoves.

Most of the residents opted to stay at warm houses in order to avoid the mud and water logging on the streets and roads of the city, which is a common feature in Rawalpindi during the rain.

There were no business activities as the main markets, city centres, bazaars and shops witnessed less customers as compared to other days.

Traffic came to a grinding halt for several hours in many areas including Raja Bazaar, Jamia Masjid Road, Benazir Bhutto Road, The Mall, Airport Road, Rawal Road, Tipu Road and other roads. Motorcycle riders suffered the most at these roads as many vehicles broke down in slushy mess on the road.

Meanwhile, Murree received snowfall attracting tens of hundreds of tourists.

The heavy snowfall also paralysed normal life in the hilly areas. The shopkeepers and traders jacked up prices of woods, coals and Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG). The locals protested against the looting spree of the traders and demanded government to take action against the looters.

Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Bin Ashraf deployed as many as 210 officers and traffic wardens in the hill station to control the traffic and to facilitate the tourists.

A spokesman to CTO told media that traffic police had also issued travel advisory to the tourists.

He said that the traffic wardens were also assisting the victims with the help of snow bikes. He said that the tourists had been asked to keep a steel chain along with to ply vehicles in snow-covered roads. He said that the tourists should avoid taking ‘selfies’ while parking vehicles along the roads. He asked the tourists to not travel to Murree during night time. The tourists and the road users should contact on traffic police helpline number 051-9269200 in case of any emergency, the spokesman said.