Chief Secretary VC Pharka on Wednesday 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.

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.

Pharka 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.