By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 28 Dec: It has been seen that the trekkers who come to Uttarakhand for treks in higher reaches of the mountains sometimes end getting lost and endangering their lives. With the objective of ensuring their safety, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Radha Raturi today directed the officials concerned to strengthen the system of registration of trekking agencies and companies in Uttarakhand and to make an effective trekking policy and SOPs in this regard.
Raturi also directed the DFOs concerned to compulsorily share information about the tourists coming for treks with the district administration and police department. She also instructed the District Magistrates to coordinate with DFOs, the Tourism Department in this regard. She stated that, in case, the SOPs formulated in this regard are not implemented, the Forest Department will be held directly responsible for any incident of negligence in the safety of the trekkers, action will be taken against the negligent officials. The ACS has given strict instructions to the Forest Department that, along with solid SOPs for the trekking agencies, immediate arrangements for strict safety standards, insurance, trained guides, snow equipment, health certificates, basic medicine for the trackers should be made.
Besides this, the ACS also reviewed the preparations of the administration regarding the prevailing cold wave in the state. Raturi asked the Labour Department to immediately ensure all arrangements for protection and relief from the cold wave, especially for the needy workers living in construction sites. In respect of the road accidents occurring due to dense fog, the ACS specially instructed the traffic and police departments in Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts to be on alert mode. Along with this, she also instructed the fire department to complete all preparations to prevent fire incidents. She also directed the officials to create a portal to collect and distribute warm clothes to be donated to help the needy.
In the meeting, the Additional Chief Secretary directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to work on new solutions along with traditional measures to maintain road connectivity, arrange for JCBs to remove snow, frost and other obstacles from the roads. She also directed the district administrations to ensure lighting of bonfires in public places and distribution of blankets and to make arrangements for electricity, water, beds and cleanliness in temporary shelters. She insisted that separate nodal officers be nominated for this. She also instructed the district administrations to store fuel in sufficient quantity till the end of January and to ensure arrangements for emergency services for medical health, particularly in the hills.
Secretary, Disaster Management, Dr Ranjit Kumar Sinha along with senior officials of various departments was present at the meeting.