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State Govt. to Frame Integrated Drug Prevention Policy : CM

Shimla, Dec. 23 – The State Government would frame an integrated Drug Prevention Policy for the State i.e State Policy of Drug Prevention, Treatment, Management and Rehabilitation/Social/Integration Programme. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the first meeting of HP Nasha Nivaran Board held here today.

Chief Minister said that better coordination between the Police, Media and the Nasha Nivaran Board was vital for curbing the menace of drug abuse in the State. He said that a large number of drug peddlers were from the neighboring States. He said that it was on his initiative that steps were taken to chalk out a joint strategy to check drug menace in the region. He said that a meeting was held at Panchkula in Haryana in which Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh participated. He said that all the Chief Ministers and representatives of other northern States agreed to share the information regarding drug trafficking. He said that another meeting was hosted by Punjab in which Chief Minister of Rajasthan also participated. He said that this initiative proved a grand success in checking the menace.

Jai Ram Thakur said that State Government has decided to open six drug de-addiction centers in the State. He said that drug abuse also results in the increase in crime rate.  He said that the State Government would also contemplating to frame SOPs to regulate and control already functioning integrated Rehabilitation Centres for addicts and de-addiction centres to ensure better services to the needy in the State.

He said that official surveys would be conducted to know the extent and pattern of drug production, diversion  of psychotropic substances including Precursors and the Magnitude of drug abuse in the State.  He said that State-wise Drug Awareness Campaign/ Sensitization Programme would be started in which elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, NCC Cadets, NSS volunteers and Mahila Mandals would be involved.  He said that existing State Narcotics Control Cell of the State Police would be strengthened to effectively tackle this menace.

Chief Minister said that the State Government was determined to curb the problem of drug menace in the State as it continues to be a serious social problem across the State and country. He said that with a view to check drug menace, the State Government has chalked out a comprehensive plan for it. He said that a major part of the anti-drug strategy of the State Government focuses on certain drugs originally derived from plant sources such as cannabis and opium. The State Government has taken stringent steps against cultivation and eradication of these drugs generating plants and campaign for the eradication of Cannabis/Opium is being carried out on all lands including Gram Panchayat, forest, and other government land, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur said that Cannabis/ Opium Eradication campaign was being implemented in the entire State in effective manner. He said that in order to intensify the Cannabis/Opium Eradication campaign the State Government has also deployed Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) for addressing the issue in high altitude regions and provided them with modern equipment for cannabis/opium destruction. He said that special drives to curb drug menace amongst the youth were being organized near schools and colleges from time to time under Community Policing Scheme. Awareness campaigns are being launched by Narcotic cell involving all Superintendents of Police and field units of CID to aware general public and educational institutes, he added.

Chief Minister said that in the wake of rising drug menace in the State, the Government has decided to introduce a chapter on ill-effects of drug abuse in the syllabus of government schools to sensitize the students. He said that the State Government has also brought a Bill for making drug trafficking a non-bailable offence.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi said that executive committee of the Board would be constituted and regular meetings would be held for proper implementation of the recommendations of the Board. He said that all the line departments would work with greater coordination for synchronization of various initiatives of the State Government to make Himachal Pradesh a ‘Drug Free State’.

Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu said that State Police was striving hard to crack down drug peddlers in the State. He said that the Department has also strengthened its intelligence network so that information regarding drug trafficking and peddling could be shared. He said that the State Government has launched special drives to detect ND&PS cases that were launched periodically by the State Police.

Convener cum Advisor of  H.P. Nasha Nivaran Board O.P Sharma made a presentation on ‘Prevailing Drug Situation in Himachal Pradesh’ on the occasion. He said that intensive mass awareness and sensitization campaign must be launched to sensitize the people of the State regarding ill-effects of the drug abuse. He said that use of intoxicants not only negatively impacted the wellbeing of the individuals, but also distorted society and led to heinous crime, poor health, poor performance in education.

Commissioner Excise and Taxation Rohan Chand Thakur welcomed the Chief Minister and conducted the proceedings of the meeting.

Non Official Members  of the Board Prakash Bhardwaj, Bhanu Lohumi, Ankur Chauhan and Devender Dutt Sharma also gave their valuable suggestions on the occasion to tackle the menace of drug abuse in the State.

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