Drug menace spreading fast in Haryana: Opposition warn the govt

  • | Wednesday | 10th August, 2022

Chandigarh, Aug 10 (PTI) The drug menace was fast spreading its tentacles in Haryana, the opposition on Wednesday warned the government, urging it to take concrete steps to tackle the scourge while there is still time. Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala said in the Assembly that the drugs were finding their way fast in several districts in the state, with Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, and Gurugram being the worst-hit. Abhay Chautala and some other opposition MLAs had given a ‘calling attention notice’ regarding the drug menace in the state. The INLD leader demanded the government identify those in charge of the drugs racket and come down hard on them. Congress MLA Amit Sihag said the magnitude of the problem may be gauged by the fact that Sirsa"s drug de-addiction centre alone has seen a spurt in the number of cases over the past 3-4 years. This year till July, the centre has reported 16,550 cases. "Every week one or two deaths take place in Dabwali and Sirsa districts due to drugs," Sihag claimed. Abhay Chautala said the government had set up Haryana State Narcotics Control Bureau (HSNCB) two years ago, but an Additional DGP rank official who has been made its head has dual charge as he also has to look after Ambala Range. "Besides, 178 posts of the Bureau are lying vacant, which shows the non-seriousness of this government...,” he said. In Sirsa district, Abhay claimed more than 33 people have died due to drug overdose. He said young men, and women too, are falling prey to the drug menace. In response to the Calling Attention notice, Home Minister Anil Vij said that the government has adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards drugs. The government has attached properties worth over Rs 25 crore, and is in the process of seizing several others worth Rs 6.82 crore of those found indulging in illegal activities connected with drugs, he said. He urged all the members in the house to “join hands” and “walk together to prevent drug abuse in the state.” Vij said that it was being ensured that no restricted drugs are sold without a valid prescription. He favoured suggestion from Abhay Chautala that there should be a stringent law to give exemplary punishment to those who are selling the drugs, and are into drug trade. Vij admitted that a few deaths may have occurred due to drug overdose or misuse and said investigation in all such matters are underway and reports of forensic sciences lab, final medical opinion regarding cause of mortality etc, too are awaited to conclusively ascertain the actual cause of death in such incidents. He said that the state government is not denying the fact that drug problems exist and said he is aware of the problems of drug trafficking and drug abuse in the State. Vij said the government is addressing the problem with a three-pronged strategy, each dealing with reduction in the supply of narcotic substances, illicit drugs, and treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. Vij informed the house that in 2020, Haryana Police registered 2,982 cases under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act arresting 4,477 persons, and in all recovered 221.672 kg of opium, 230.764 kg of charas, 35.9 kg of heroin and over 1.29 lakh tablets. He said till August 2, the state police had registered 2,334 cases under the NDPS Act and arrested 3,209 persons. The Home Minister said that two Android mobile applications namely ‘Prayaas’ and ‘Sathi’ have been designed by HSNCB with an aim to help addicts and victims in recognising, understanding and fighting their issues anonymously. Further this information will be automatically integrated with ‘Hawk’ software run by HSNCB. This data will be used for prosecution of all those indulging in illegal trade, he said. Through ‘Sathi’ app, supply-chain of drugs prohibited under NDPS Act, 1985 and related laws shall be monitored and regulated, he said. The information of pharmaceutical drugs and precursors prohibited under the NDPS Act, 1985 shall be uploaded on ‘Sathi’ app by manufacturers, stockists, retailers and chemists. It will help in real-time monitoring of manufacture, supply and sales of pharmaceutical drugs. Its implementation has been started in Sonipat district as a pilot project, said Vij. PTI SUN VSD VN VN

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