The Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam Tuesday 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 Health & Medical Education, Power Development, Rural Development, Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir, and Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of all the districts participated in the meeting.
The Chief Secretary directed the Power Development Department to undertake an extensive assessment of the functionality of existing transformers, transmission lines, buffer transformers, poles, electrical equipment, and repair workshops. The department was asked to actively monitor the reported failures of power distribution & transmission channels, timely repairs, and replacement of the damaged equipment to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the harsh winter months, besides securing the existing electrical infrastructure against the extreme weather vagaries.
Reviewing the heating arrangements to be made available at various health institutions and examination centres, the Deputy Commissioners were directed to assess and maintain sufficient stock of winter fuel. Additionally, the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir was asked to ensure stockpiling of at least two months' supply of firewood, fuel, food grains, and medicines for the snow-bound remote areas.
The Chief Secretary directed the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to establish winter control rooms to monitor and resolve grievances regarding power, water, essential supplies, health services, road connectivity, and emergency evacuation/rescue.
Reviewing the preparedness to mitigate natural disasters, the Chief Secretary impressed upon the concerned to put in place a mechanism to issue timely weather advisories to alert the public of the extreme weather conditions. In this regard, the Divisional Commissioners were directed to assess the operability of Pawan Hans helicopters for rescue operations.
Regarding snow clearance and maintenance of road connectivity during the harsh winter months, the Chief Secretary directed the Divisional Commissioners to rationalize the deployment of snow clearing machinery and equipment with special focus on tourist circuits, hospitals, emergency centres, and other essential services installations.
The Chief Secretary directed the Deputy Commissioners of Jammu, Ramban, Anantnag, and Kulgam districts to review the emergency arrangements to be provided to the stranded passengers on the national highway with regard to essential services, and temporary accommodation in accordance with the COVID-19 SOPs and protocols.