Ensure pre-positioning of manpower, machinery in avalanche-prone areas: Himachal Chief Secy

Ensure pre-positioning of manpower, machinery in avalanche-prone areas: Himachal Chief Secy

Shimla, Nov 16 (PTI) Ensure pre-positioning of manpower, machinery and material in areas prone to avalanches and heavy snowfall during winters, Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena directed officials on Thursday.

Chairing a meeting to review the state's winter preparedness, the chief secretary asked all deputy commissioners to issue immediate orders restricting the movement of trekkers or travellers towards high passes or other vulnerable areas considering the risks of heavy snowfall, a statement issued here said.

During the meeting, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) shared its forecast for the upcoming winter in the state. It also presented data on previous trends and detailed the current arrangements for dissemination of weather advisories.

The IMD forecast a normal winter season for the coming months, the statement said.

The plan to pre-position of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Shimla and other districts was also discussed in the meeting.

The NDRF has proposed providing a base for its rescue teams at the higher ranges of over 9,000 feet. Such deployment will allow the rescuers to acclimatise to the conditions at the higher altitudes which will be beneficial in case emergency rescue operations arise, the statement said.

At the meeting, the chief secretary directed the authorities to ensure that all the departments are ready for the challenges of the winter season.

He also directed the concerned departments to effectively maintain roads and clear snow from roadside drains and culverts, create a network of fire hydrants across state to ensure readiness in case of any untoward incident, maintain inventory of water pipes and electric poles.

He also asked the concerned departments to be prepared to hire machineries, including JCBs, trucks and 4X4 vehicles, if the need arises.

He instructed the deputy commissioners to ensure adequate food and fuel supplies in the areas that remain cut off due to heavy snow and road blockages. He also asked the authorities to ensure that communication channels remain functional in such areas.

The Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department, Jal Shakti Vibhag, Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited, NDRF and State Disaster Response Force also shared details on their preparedness measures for the winter. PTI BPL RPA

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