· Govt. to bring law to make drug peddling a non-bailable offence
· Drug de-addiction centre to be opened at Baddi
While addressing the state level anti-drug rally at Nimantran Resort, Baddi in Solan district today, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that a mass campaign involving parents, teachers and every responsible citizen of the country was required to curb the menace of drug abuse and make the society drug-free and healthy.
The Chief Minister said that although, Himachal Pradesh has honour of being the ‘Dev Bhoomi’, but it was unfortunate that even it was not untouched from the menace of drug abuse. Thus, it was the need of the hour to launch a collective campaign against this social vice, he added
Jai Ram Thakur said that since the Himachal Pradesh shares border with about five states, the drug peddlers were quite active in the border districts of the State. He said that most of the cases registered against drug peddlers were from neighbouring states. It was on the initiative of the state government that a meeting of Chief Ministers of neighbouring states was held at Chandigarh to chalk out a joint strategy against drug abuse. He said that this initiative has proved to be a success as several drug peddlers were nabbed and put behind the bar due to sharing of information against them.
The Chief Minister said that a special campaign would be launched throughout the State to sensitize the people, particularly the youth against ill effects of drug abuse. Prevention programmes involving entities such as families, schools and the immediate communities were important in this regard. He urged the children to come forward to discourage their elders from using liquor just for sake of entertainment and relaxation.
He said that media also needs to understand its role in this context and should play a positive role by resisting the urge to earn millions by romanticizing and glorifying drug abuse. Media needs to highlight the damaging consequences of drug abuse, he added. It was important that the youth were made to feel that drug usage itself was harmful in every conceivable way and only then they would stop using them and prevent others in their peer group from doing the same.
The Chief Minister said that Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, was enacted with stringent provisions to curb this menace which envisages a minimum term of 10 years imprisonment extendable to 20 years and fine of Rs. 1 lakh extendable up to Rs. 2 lakhs for the offenders. The Act has been further amended by making provisions for the forfeiture of properties derived from illicit drugs trafficking. He said that the state government has also decided to bring a law to make the drug peddling a non-bailable offence.
He urged the younger generation to make new friends who practice healthier habits, who do well in school, who are motivated at work and have high goals. Develop goals and dreams for yourself and remember, alcohol or drug use can turn to addiction rapidly, he added.
Earlier, the Chief Minister laid foundation stones of improvement and strengthening of Manpura-Dharampur road to be completed at a cost of Rs 11 crore and bridge at Ratta Khad Morepan road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 1.35 crore.
He said that drug de-addiction centre would be opened at Baddi. He said Science classes would be started in Senior Secondary School Baddi and announced upgradation of Primary School Timli to Middle school and High School Thana to Senior Secondary School.
He also launched anti-drug campaign on the occasion and released a booklet to sensitize the students against drug abuse.
Member of Parliament Virender Kashyap said that it was on the initiative of the State Government that stringent actions were being taken against drug abuse. He said that it was the duty of the parents to keep a strict vigil over behavioral change in the habit of their children. He appealed the girl students to secretly keep an eye of the students involved in drug abuse. He also urged the Chief Minister to take up matter of expediting the matter of four laning work of Baddi-Pinjore highway.
Local MLA Parmajit Singh Pammi thanked the Chief Minister for choosing his area for launching special campaign against drug abuse in the State. He also detailed various developmental demands of the area.
Skit against drug abuse was presented by the artists of Information and Public Relations and jawans of IRB, Beri.
Chief Minister honoured the students who participated in the slogan writing and painting competitions.
Director General Police S.R .Mardi said that drug abuse was emerging as the biggest social problem, particularly amongst the youth and it becomes the moral responsibility of each one of us to sensitize the general public about this vice. He said that cannabis was destroyed from thousands of bigha of land in the state. He said that the police have been directed to take stringent action against the drug peddlers.
Chairman MIKLFED Nihal Chand Sharma, Vice Chairman State Water Management Board Darshan Singh Saini, former MLA Vinod Chandel, Chairman Nagar Parishad Baddi Narender Kumar were also present on this occasion.