Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Dec 28 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday announced the setting up of an Advisory Board to enable detention of drug smugglers for a year without trial, as well as the creation of a separate Drug Division under the Health Department to centralise and synergise the de-addiction efforts of the government and private centres.
The measures are among a series of fresh initiatives announced by the Chief Minister to take his government’s fight against drugs to the next level, an official spokesperson disclosed after a meeting to review the functioning of the Special Task Force (STF) set up to wipe out the menace of drugs from the state.
Officials posted in the respective police stations from whose jurisdiction drug seizures are made, will now be held directly accountable. The proposed Advisory Board will be constituted under Prevention of Illicit Traffic (PIT) in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act with the aim of allowing detention of drug smugglers without trial for a year as well as attachment of properties of proclaimed offenders under the said Act.
As per an official spokesperson, the Chief Minister has asked Additional Chief Secretary Home Nirmal Singh Kalsi to work out the modalities in this regard. The Additional Chief Secretary Home has also been asked to convene coordination meetings with all central and neighbouring state enforcement agencies to effectively check cross-border smuggling of drugs in Punjab.
Stressing the need to centralise and integrate the various functions involved in promoting de-addiction in the state, the Chief Minister said the Drug Division in the Health Department will oversee the opening of new drug centres, issuance of licences to private de-addiction centres and distribution of the necessary drugs in government hospitals. The Division will be headed by a Secretary.
The Chief Minister has further asked Additional Chief Secretary Health Satish Chandra to simplify the licensing procedure for private de-addiction centers to strengthen the framework for weaning youth away from drugs.
Singh has also directed STF Chief Mohammad Mustafa to regularly update him on the progress of the anti-drug campaign launched by the State Government, while asking his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar and ACS Home to hold a meeting every fortnight to review the progress in this regard.
Emphasising the need to create awareness amongst the people about the ongoing efforts to check drug abuse, Singh asked the Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police, Inspectors General of Police of different ranges & STF and SSPs to undertake regular field visits, especially in rural and border areas, for reviewing the progress of DAPO and Buddy programme, besides seeking feedback and inputs from the common people.
Captain Amarinder has also suggested involvement of the Guardians of Governance to ensure massive public participation to motivate the youth to abstain from drugs. He also underlined the need for involvement of people at grassroots level and stressed that unique programmes like DAPO and Buddy would be instrumental in strengthening the state government’s efforts to save future generations from the drug menace. (ANI)