Common Secretariat to be set up in Panchkula to check drug abuse
Himachal Govt. to evolve mechanism for regular medical checkups to diagnose school children
To keep tab on drug abuse, northern sates of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, Capital region Delhi and the Chandigarh UT administration has joined hand and decided to set up a common secretariat, to be based in Panchkula in Haryana states, for information sharing.
The chief ministers will meet twice in a year to monitor the progress of the joint strategy against drugs, and Secretary level meeting would be held at least four times in a year. The states would appoint a Nodal Officers for effective coordination for information sharing process.
At a ‘Regional Conference on Drugs – Challenges & Strategies’ in Chandigarh, Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana) and T.S. Rawat of (Uttarakhand) with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur participating through video conference as he was unable to reach due to bad weather.
To effective implementation and to put complete check on drug abuse, It was also decided that Uttar Pradesh would also be requested to be part of this campaign.
Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur pitched for a joint strategy to eradicate the drug menace from the society. He said that drug abuse has assumed a major threat to the society, thus it was essential to chalk out a joint strategy to tackle this social vice. He said that this was not an issue confined to a few states, but drug menace was a universal problem. He said that about 1000 arrests had been made in the State against drug peddlers. He said that since the State has borders with several states, it was essential that joint task force be constituted to check cross border drug peddling.
He said that due to greater pressure on the drug peddlers in the neighbouring States, the cases of drug related arrests had increased manifold in Himachal Pradesh. The Charas or cannabis was one of the major substances used by drug addicts in the State, but now synthetic drugs had emerged as a major area of concern.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government was contemplating to evolve a mechanism for regular medical checkups in schools to diagnose students so that early signs of drug abuse could be detected. He said that regular follow up should be ensured so that an effective strategy could be finalised. He said that effective sharing mechanism should be developed to share information regarding drug peddling so that the culprit could be nabbed.
Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh said that as soon as the Government came to power in Punjab it came heavily against drug peddlers. He said that special campaigns have been launched to check this evil. The Punjab Chief Minister reiterated demand of severe punishment or death sentence for those involved in drug trade which would act as a major deterrent for the drug peddlers.
Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar said this meeting had been held to deliberate on very vital issue of drug abuse. He said that it was unfortunate that the drug abuse was a biggest challenge for our society and the Haryana government was working relentlessly to check it. He said that the State was also working with close coordination with other States to arrest drug peddlers.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister T.S. Rawat said that more states should be involved in chalking out a joint strategy to check this social vice. He said that this beginning would indeed go a long way in tackling this issue.
The representatives of Rajasthan, Chandigarh and New Delhi governments also spoke on the occasion.