JAMMU – The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting to review the winter preparedness, supply, and stocking of essential commodities across the Kashmir Division and snowbound districts of Jammu province including Kishtwar, Doda, Poonch, and Rajouri.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Finance, Power Development, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir, Inspectors General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Managing Directors of DISCOMs, Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and District SPs of all districts, and officers from concerned departments participated in the meeting.
It was informed that the divisional and district administrations have taken all precautionary measures and preparedness for the winter season with a special focus on inclement weather situations in all snow-bound areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
It was further informed that during today’s precipitation only 2 out of 1020 electricity feeders and 10 out of 705 water supply networks in the Kashmir Valley experienced minor glitches which too will be restored within a few hours, besides, all roads were cleared for vehicular traffic and no prolonged disruption was reported.
The Chief Secretary directed the departments of Public Works(R&B), Power Development, Jal Shakti, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, and Disaster Management to be well prepared to ensure delivery of essential services throughout the winter season and cater to any untoward eventuality.
It was informed that this year the National Highway-44 will remain open for vehicular traffic throughout the year and as such the PWD was asked to augment the snow/slippage clearance machinery all along the vulnerable spots. The district administration, Ramban was asked to activate the vehicle holding areas for heavy vehicles during weather vagaries at the Jawahar tunnel; and regulate the traffic movement for smooth passage of light motor vehicles.
The divisional and district administrations were asked to lay special focus on slippage and avalanche-prone areas and monitor vehicular traffic, especially during heavy precipitation, besides ensuring minimal response time to reported emergencies.
Regarding snow clearance and maintenance of road connectivity during the harsh winter months, the Chief Secretary directed the Public Works Department to emphasize minimal damage to the road surfaces during the exercise by following appropriate guidelines and using suitable technology/practice.
The Power Development Department was asked to actively monitor the reported failures of power distribution & transmission channels and undertake timely repairs and replacement of the damaged equipment to ensure uninterrupted and reliable power supply during the harsh winter months.
The Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs Department was asked to ensure sufficient stockpiling of winter fuel and food grains across all winter-affected areas.
Further, the Chief Secretary directed the concerned to establish winter control rooms to monitor and resolve grievances regarding power, water, essential supplies, health services, road connectivity, and emergency evacuation/rescue. They were advised to widely promote the helpline numbers among the public and ensure providing the latest information and appropriate services to grievances and issues raised through the emergency numbers including likely time for addressing issues.
Reviewing the preparedness to mitigate natural disasters, the Chief Secretary impressed upon the concerned to issue timely weather advisories to alert the public of the extreme weather conditions.