Shimla – With winter’s icy grip fast approaching, Himachal Pradesh is not leaving anything to chance. In a comprehensive meeting led by Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena, the state’s preparedness for the impending winter season took center stage. The meeting addressed critical aspects of winter readiness, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

Chief Secretary Saxena directed concerned departments to prioritize road maintenance, particularly in areas prone to heavy snowfall. The goal is to keep transportation routes open and functional, preventing disruptions caused by snow blockages. Clearing snow from road-side drains and culverts was highlighted as a crucial measure to avoid waterlogging and subsequent road damage.

A key focus of the meeting was on ensuring adequate supplies in areas that could become isolated due to heavy snow and road blockages. Deputy commissioners received explicit instructions to stockpile essential items, including food and fuel, in strategic locations. Simultaneously, the emphasis was placed on maintaining functional communication channels to facilitate coordination and response in snow-blocked regions.

Recognizing the importance of timely and effective rescue operations, Chief Secretary Saxena discussed the pre-positioning of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in key locations, including Shimla. The proposal to establish a base for NDRF rescue teams at altitudes exceeding 9,000 feet aims to enhance their acclimatization to challenging conditions, ensuring a swifter response to emergencies.

Acknowledging the unpredictable nature of winter weather, the Chief Secretary urged departments to be prepared to deploy machinery such as JCBs, trucks, and 4X4 vehicles as needed. This strategic readiness ensures a prompt response to any unforeseen challenges posed by heavy snowfall or avalanches.