Four north Indian states have announced a joint battle to control the menace of narcotics and arrest the menace of drug addiction among youngsters. The governments of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab have launched a common drive to tackle the issue. On Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Uttarkhand’s Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat along with the top bureaucrats and senior officials of Rajasthan, Delhi and Chandigarh attended the first ‘Regional Conference on Drugs- Challenges and Strategies’ held at Chandigarh. Himachal Pradesh’s Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur attended the event via video conferencing.
At the joint meeting, the CMs have taken a series of measures like setting up a common secretariat in Haryana’s Panchkula, appointment of nodal officers to coordinate inflow of data related to drugs and other relevant information, launching an awareness programme in educational institutes like schools and colleges, engaging youngsters in sports and other activities at village-level and the development of skills in youth.
In a joint statement, the states and Union Territory (UT) said, “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,” reports Times of India.
Addressing the media, Haryana Chief Minister said that the common secretariat will help states to share information and data related to the drug, which is being considered to be one of the most important equipment to tackle the menace. During the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has proposed a joint task force which will be represented by several central agencies like Border Security Force (BSF), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Railway Protection Force (RPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the customs department. “Drugs have no boundaries, hence the need for a joint strategy,” said Singh.
The drug menace was a prominent issue in the Punjab state assembly polls held last year. All political parties have promised to uproot the problem if they secure power. Last month, the Amarinder Singh government had decided to suggest to the Centre to ensure death sentence to drug smugglers and peddlers.