ISLAMABAD    -The popular hills of Murree, where long queues of jammed traffic were once seen and no spare room was left in any of the hotels at this time of the year, is all lonely and seems to be struggling throughout this corona episode. 

Murree is famous among locals and foreigners alike who witness the natural beauty as well as the perfect weather conditions for adventures and travelling. 

Tourism was, therefore, a big opportunity for locals who used to greet them in every way and made a handful of money which they would usually save for the long winters when there will be no work outside. 

In summer, the place is cooler, even chilly in the evening, while light rain is common. However, in winter, Murree hides herself under thick blanket of snow which attracts merely a few tourists, so most of the hotels and attraction resorts and points remain close. 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and the resulting lockdown like situation in all parts of the country, the renowned hills of Murree are left alone which were used to of hosting millions of tourists every year.  The coming tourists in these months of spring were the only source of income for the locals of these hills.  As the tourists are totally absent this year, owing to the lockdown and isolation, the locals are striving hard in hope to earn some money. 

Talking to TheNation, Atta-ur-Rehman a manager of a famous resort of Gharial shared his sorrows stating that their hotel which was among the busiest ones have remained closed for over a month. 

The manager stressed that this time of the year used to be the most beneficial for the locals as they remained dependent on these couple of months for earning which they would utilise the whole year. But as there is no work, people are striving to earn money to feed their family.  Another local of Murree, Hamid Abbasi told this correspondent that he was unemployed for over three months and is left with no money. Hamid who used to work at a restaurant weeps as the restaurant is closed for over a couple of months due to the pandemic.  The road to Pearl Continental Bhurban which was mostly full of roadside stalls offering coconuts, hand-made shawls, umbrellas and different accessories for tourists are all in grief as thereare no buyers. 

Gul Khan, who is a trader and comes from Swat to Murree every year at this time of the year to earn a handful of money by selling hand-made shawls stressed that he sold only three shawls during the past 30 days. With a worrisome face, he told TheNation that he was going back to his native place to find work, so that he may earn money to feed his family. 

In addition to this, this correspondent also talked to people at Toll Plaza Murree Expressway to further understand the situation of the tourists coming to Murree. 

Afzal who collects token from every car travelling to Murree at the toll plaza said that he has never seen such few cars travelling to Murree especially during this time of the year when traffic usually went out of control and they had to divert vehicles to other routes to control the traffic. 

However, no relief package has been introduced yet by the authorities of Murree for its locals in this crucial time.  TheNation also tried to reach SadaqatAbbasi (MNA Murree) but due to some reason he wasnot able to answer.