By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 9 Jan: Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu today held an important meeting on the land subsidence happening in Joshimath. He emphasised that every minute is very crucial for the people. People living in the affected areas ought to be shifted to a safe place without any delay. It may be recalled that, yesterday, Sandhu along with Director General of Police Ashok Kumar and Secretary to CM R Meenakshi Sundaram had visited the disaster affected areas of Joshimath. In the meeting held, today, Sandhu gave necessary instructions on relief and rescue operations being conducted in Joshimath. He instructed the officers to ensure evacuation from the affected area without any delay. He further said that adequate arrangements of drinking water and other essentials should be also ensured at the place where people are being shifted. He instructed the departments concerned to repair broken water lines, sewer and power lines, etc., in the landslideaffected area. He pointed out that broken drinking water lines would further increase landslides and power lines would also be affected. In order to avoid loss of life and property in the area, it is necessary to keep a constant an eye on every aspect in the affected area. Senior officials ought to be personally present and available in the area to monitor the situation. Instructing that work should start without any delay to prevent erosion in the landslide area, the Chief Secretary added that the buildings which had developed cracks and had become dilapidated should be demolished immediately so that they don’t cause any more damage in the area. Sandhu directed the officers to make further arrangements to bring experts by choppers so that they could undertake their study without losing precious time. He also ordered speedy completion of the ongoing relief works by deploying additional manpower. Present on this occasion were Additional Chief Secretary Anand Vardhan, Secretaries Nitesh Jha and Dr Ranjit Kumar Sinha and other high officials of all related departments.