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HIMACHAL CM STRESSES ON CHALKING OUT JOINT STRETGY TO CHECK DRUG ABUSE

August 20, 2018 06:16 PM

Shimla (Vijyender Sharma)

A joint strategy should be chalked out and implemented effectively to eradicate the drug menace from the society, stated Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing the Regional Conference of Chief Ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Administrator of Chandigarh Union Territory through video conference, here today. 

  
  
  
The Chief Minister said that he was supposed to personally attend this important meeting, but due to bad weather he could not attend it. 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.

WHAT WAS SAID IN JOINT STATEMENT 
 
“We, the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the senior officers representing Rajasthan, Delhi and UT of Chandigarh are happy to have had an extremely constructive meeting on effectively addressing and countering the drug menace. We shared our experiences so far in our State specific battles against drugs and recognized our common concern for developing strategies and actions that our Governments can take to protect our youth, children and the next generations from the harm of drugs. 

A joint statement was issued after the Regional Conference of Chief Ministers on the issue of Drug Menace, Challenges and Strategies convened by Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal here today. Before the start of the conference, a two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to the former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The Chief Ministers of Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh and Uttarakhand, Mr Trivendra Singh Rawat were present in the meeting, whereas the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Jairam Thakur joined them through video conferencing. The senior officers of Home and Police Departments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh participated in the conference.
 
WHAT WAS SAID IN JOINT STATEMENT 
 
“We, the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the senior officers representing Rajasthan, Delhi and UT of Chandigarh are happy to have had an extremely constructive meeting on effectively addressing and countering the drug menace. We shared our experiences so far in our State specific battles against drugs and recognized our common concern for developing strategies and actions that our Governments can take to protect our youth, children and the next generations from the harm of drugs. This first meeting of its kind was held in a businesslike and constructive manner. We agreed to meet every six months to review progress on various action points on three dimensions agreed upon in today’s meeting. We also agreed to invite the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and senior officers of Jammu & Kashmir in future.

On the Enforcement side we agreed on the need for more proactive and quick information exchange on drug trends, cases registered, persons named, wanted or arrested beginning fromtoday. We hope to “deliver as one” with the full might of the law in a crusade like manner to break and demolish the supply chains. We agreed on setting up of a Permanent Secretariat for this in Panchkula. We also agreed that there would be monthly meeting of our Special Task Forces and quarterly meetings at the level of Home Secretaries to build interagency trust. We also agreed on regular meetings at the level of DCs and SPs.

 On the Preventive side we agreed on the need for a multidisciplinary approach that puts our boys and girls at the centre of our joint response. Those who are the most vulnerable whether in schools, colleges, universities, their residential buildings or outside deserve our special attention. To ensure that no child ever falls prey to pessimism we shall undertake concerted efforts at engagement and awareness generation by various Departments including those of Education, Health, Skill Development alongwith non-governments and community organizations. It would be very important to harness the powers of social media in enabling our youth to emphatically say NO to drugs.

On the De addiction side we agreed to invest more resources in setting up of more centres and strengthening the existing ones whether in the public or private sector. We agreed to go in for intensive identification of “at high risk” individuals and addicts and their prompt medical treatment. We agreed to strengthen the work at the grass roots through use of all possible technologies to make more and more of our villages, mohallas and cities drugs free.”

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. He said that substance addiction had a severe impact not only on the individual, but those closest to them and society as a 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.

He said that drug abuse and peddling also attribute to crime, diseases, accidents, domestic violence, abuse, job loss, and homelessness. He said that long term strategy should also be chalked out to engage youth in constructive activities. He said that parents should also keep an eye on abnormal behaviour of their teenage children.

The Chief Minister said that large amount of crime could be attributed to substance addictions. This is because many addicts are trying to obtain money to purchase their substance of choice and when a purchase goes wrong they need more money and violence normally occurs during these situations, he added.

 It was decided in the meeting that a Common Secretariat would be established in Panchkula in Haryana to check this social vice and all the neighbouring State would appoint a Nodal Officers for effective coordination. It was also decided that Uttar Pradesh would also be requested to be part of this campaign and the Chief Ministers of these northern State would meet after every six months in a year and Secretary level meeting would be at least four times in a year.

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 was also requesting the Centre to bring in 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 conviction rate in the State against drug abuse was very high. He said that about 720 cases were registered against the drug trekkers. He said that various social organisations should also come forward to check this social Vice. He 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. Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Director General of Police S.R. Mardi and ADGP Anurag were present at Shimla and Additional Chief Secretary, Home B.K. Aggarwal and Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Sanjay Kundu were present at Chandigarh on the occasion.

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