Chief Secretary V.C Pharka today directed all the concerned departments and deputy commissioners of the state to take necessary steps to prevent damages and loss to the human life and property during the winter season, especially in the snow-bound areas. He said ensuring adequate arrangements of essential commodities, LPG, petrol and diesel etc. in the remote and hard areas should be given foremost priority.Shri Pharka was presiding over a meeting of heads of the relevant departments here today to take stock of the arrangements for the winter season in which all the deputy commissioners participated through video conferencing.The Chief Secretary said the public works, irrigation and public health departments and state electricity board would ensure immediate restoration of roads, water supply and electricity. He directed the public works department to deploy adequate men and machinery to ensure that roads were restored at the earliest in case of snowfall and landslips. He said vulnerable areas like Manali, Kullu, Chamba and all sub-urban areas should also be given priority along-with the urban areas in clearing snow so that people did not suffer.He directed to check machinery and snow cutters well in advance and carry out necessary repairs before snow season and ensure storage of sufficient quantity of salt, placing of sand at vulnerable points for smooth running of traffic.
The Chief Secretary directed the IPH authorities to ensure that safe drinking water was supplied to the people and effective steps were taken to maintain supplies in the snow bound areas. He said that state electricity board would ensure immediate repairs to restore the supplies in snow bound areas where supply gets disrupted due to snowfall etc. He directed the Municipal Corporation, Shimla authorities to clear snow without delay from the roads and keep roads leading to hospital open and pliable for ambulances etc. The health department was asked to ensure interrupted power supply in the hospitals of the state besides arrangement of generators in coordination with the electricity board. Besides, directions were also given for immediate removal of uprooted trees so that traffic and power supply was not disrupted for long time.Shri Pharka directed the deputy commissioners also to ensure that all arrangements were made in their respective districts during the winter season and no inconvenience was caused to the public in general. He asked the deputy commissioners of Solan, Mandi and Bilaspur to coordinate with the deputy commissioners of Shimla and Kullu for proper management of traffic at Shimla and Manali as large number of tourists visit these destinations during winters.
Similarly, the transport department was asked to keep check on private operators to check overcharge during the snowfall.He also directed the deputy commissioners to held meetings at district level to identify vulnerable places and sending their demands, if any, to the government well in the time.They were also asked to aware the field staff about the snow manual of the state so that immediate and appropriate action could be taken them by in case of any disaster.Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Tarun Shridhar informed that on the memorandum submitted by the state government for losses occurred in monsoon season, an inter-ministerial central team would visit the state in the month of December for on-spot damage assessment. He asked the Seputy Commissioners to identify dew spots where the central team could be taken for assessment of loss.He said that all the DCs and departments should follow the norms and procedures of the Snow Manual.The Chief Secretary released the updated Himachal Pradesh Snow Manual on this occasion.Special Secretary, Disaster Management, D.D Sharma conducted the proceedings of the meeting. He stated that all departments would take preventive steps well in advance to ensure that normal life was restored without any loss of time.The representatives from central agencies and other stakeholders were also present in the meeting.