SHIMLA -26th June, 2022-A Special Task Force would be constituted headed by Additional Director General of Police CID and officers of Department of State Taxes and Excise to curb drug menace in the State. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while launching the ‘Nasha Nahin, Zindagi Chunne’ an initiative of the Department of State Taxes and Excise and HP Nasha Niwaran Board from here today.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government was committed to eradicate drug menace from the State, for which an Integrated Drug De-addiction Policy has been adopted. The State Government has constituted a Nasha Niwaran Board. He said that 73 posts of Police personnel would be created and filled up in the Department of State Taxes and Excise for effective implementation of Excise NDPS and other regulatory legislations. This would not only safeguard Government revenue but also re-assert Government’s commitment to combat drug menace in a holistic manner, he added. He also initiated the process of ‘Excise Police Force’ on the occasion.

Jai Ram Thakur said that it was the need of the hour to make the campaign against drug abuse a people’s movement adding that only then this demon of drug abuse could be defeated and the younger generation saved from this social vice. He said that advancement in technology has made curbing the menace quite challenging. He advised the Police Department to remain a step ahead to nab those engaged in drug peddling.

The Chief Minister said that better coordination between the Police of neighboring States was vital only then the chain of drug peddling could be broken. 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 and the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir 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 Ministers of Rajasthan and Delhi also participated.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government also started a special de-addiction helpline under the Chief Minister helpline-1100. He said that this helpline aims at providing counseling and guidance to the patients. He said that the State Government has made drug peddling a non-bailable offence to check drug peddling. He 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 to make Himachal Pradesh a drug free State. 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 for eradication of these drug generating plants. He said that property worth Rs. 20 crore was attached by the State Government earned by the drug peddlers and those involved in this illegal trade.

Jai Ram Thakur also advised the parents to keep an eye on the behavioral change in their children. He also advised the parents to spend quality time with their children. He also urged the teachers of schools and other educational institutions to keep strict vigil on the activities going on in their institutions as the drug peddlers specifically target these institutions. He said that special drives to curb drug menace amongst the youth must be regularly organized near schools and colleges from time to time under the Community Policing Scheme.

The Chief Minister also administered oath against drug abuse on the occasion. He also distributed anti-narcotics drug detection kits and provided prizes to the winners of various events such as painting, marathon, slogan writing etc. competitions held on the occasion.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur listened to the Mann Ki Baat programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this occasion. He also flagged off vehicles of the Department of State Taxes and Excise to deal with drug peddling in an effective manner.

A short film of Nasha Niwaran Board on various initiatives taken by various departments was also screened on the occasion.

Skit on ill effects of drug abuse was also presented on the occasion by the artists of IRB Bangarh and the Information and Public Relations Department.

Commissioner Department of Taxes and Excise Yunus Khan while welcoming the Chief Minister said that this day was being celebrated as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. He said that hemp plantation on over 40 bigha land was destroyed by the department during the last few days. He assured the Chief Minister that the Department would work with greater co-ordination to make Himachal Pradesh a Drug Free State of the country.

Convener State Nasha Niwaran Board O.P. Sharma presented a vote of thanks.

Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Vice Chairman State Civil Supplies Corporation Baldev Tomar, MLAs Vinod Kumar and Vishal Nehria, Chairman HIMFED Ganesh Dutt, Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, Deputy Commissioner Shimla Aditya Negi was present on the occasion among others.