Chandigarh: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stressed for formulating joint strategy to check drug menace. The Chief Minister, in a second regional conference on drug menace organised at Chandigarh, said the sale and consumption of narcotics is not a state specific but a national problem and there is need to formulate a joint strategy and implement it effectively to check the drug menace.

The regional conference was attended by the Chief Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan besides senior officers of the Jammu-Kashmir, UT Chandigarh and Delhi governments. The Chief Secretaries and Director General’s of Police of these states also participated in this conference.

Jai Ram Thakur said that drug abuse is posing a major threat to the society and it is necessary to have a joint strategy to deal with this social evil. He said that Himachal Pradesh shares boundaries with many other states, and therefore it is essential that a joint action plan is implemented effectively for dealing with drug smuggling at inter-state level.

He said that present state government immediately after coming to power, took effective steps to check drug menace and then held meeting with the Chief Ministers of the neighbouring states and stressed to formulate an effective strategy. The first regional conference was organized in Chandigarh last year as a result of which the Regional Command Center was established in Panchkula, which needs to be strengthened further. He added that before August 15, two officers from Himachal Pradesh will be appointed in this Center.

The Chief Minister said that stringent steps taken by the state government have shown fruitful results as there has been increase in the arrest of the persons involved in drug smuggling. He informed that as many as 1622 cases were registered in the state till June this year and 789 people were arrested including 27 women and 2 foreign nationals. Amongst the arrested people, 40 percent are from Punjab and 25 percent from Haryana state which clearly indicates that most of the people involved in the illicit drug business are from other states.

He stressed that an effective mechanism should be evolved for exchange of information related to drug trafficking in order to catch the culprits involved in drug smuggling.

Jai Ram Thakur said that no campaign could prove successful without ensuring the people participation and creating mass awareness. The Himachal Pradesh government is focusing on educating the youth about the ill effects of the drugs and motivating them to refrain from it. He also advocated formulating a long-term policy to save the younger generation from the drug menace.

He proposed to organise the third regional conference of the Chief Ministers of Northern India on drug menace in Himachal Pradesh, which was accepted by all.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said the Punjab government has launched a massive campaign against the drug peddlers and the state is demanding provision of stern action against them from the government of India.

Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar said that his government is extending all possible support to other states to tackle the issue of drug menace. He also advocated for establishing a Drug Control Secretariat.

The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand T.S Rawat suggested that the various social organisations should be motivated to come forward and support the efforts of the governments to tackle this social evil. He said that this meeting would go a long way in the fight against the drug menace.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that drug abuse is not a political but social problem which needs to be tackled with collective efforts. He suggested for developing an inter-state database of the drug smugglers and the joint strategy should be implemented in an effective manner.

The Advisor of the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Special Police Commissioner of Delhi, DGP of Punjab and other senior officers of various states also presented their views on this issue.

Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh B.K Agarwal, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi and DGP S.R Mardi were also present in the conference.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.