Inter State Drug Trafficking to be curbed Strenuously : Virbhadra Singh
INVC NEWS Shimla, Drugs have become an international menace and need to be curbed strenuously. “If we want that our generations to be protected in near future, participation of people is a must to eradicate this international evil said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh while presiding over the opening of three days conference on ‘Drug problem in Himachal Pradesh, searching for truth and solution’ organised by Institute of Narcotics Studies and Analysis (INSA) and funded by National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse (NFCDA) at Kullu today. Drug addiction and drug abuse was a major international problem for many families, communities and law enforcement agencies said the Chief Minister, adding that drug use continues to exceed a significant toll, with valuable human lives and productive years of many persons being lost. As per World Drug Report, an estimated one crore and eighty seven thousand drug-related deaths were reported in 2013 in the world and the figures could be far more than reported, he remarked. As a nation we need to stop spending huge amounts of money on unnecessary material items and start utilising our Nations funds on treating and educating about the fatal harms of all drugs, legal and illegal, he said. As of now, the population of India has reached over 1 billion and continues to rise. The country was growing at an incredible pace. Its culture, social values, demographics and economy were rapidly changing, and these stresses were having an impact on the people, said Shri Virbhadra Singh. Chief Minister said that drugs and alcohol abuse are important problems that affect school going youth at early age. No matter what age a person is from and what social class they might fall into, as the addiction unfolds, their continued use could lead to disastrous consequences. “Drugs were targeting our generations and the nexus between the drug mafia and the traffickers need to be dealt with heavy hand”, he added. As far as our state and neighbouring states were concerned, of late, drug abuse and trafficking, has become an issue of serious concern, said the Chief Minister. The law enforcement agencies need to curb the inter-state drug trafficking from the neighbouring states. It has been observed the drug peddlers were more active in areas adjoining Punjab border that needs to be curbed at all cost. The Chief Minister said that the cultivation and production of Cannabis in H.P. has its deep roots since long. It is directly related with their living as one of the major source of income. It is also related with the geographical terrain of the Himachal Pradesh which is difficult and takes days to reach in such areas as there is no road connectivity. There are such areas where cannabis and opium poppy seeds are the only crops which are best suited to cultivate to earn livelihood, he said. Under the present circumstances, the only solution to solve this problem in Himachal Pradesh is to provide central funds for providing the people the best substitute in economic terms so that they earn money more than what they were getting from cultivation and production of cannabis and opium poppy, said the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister said that there were few areas in the state which were known for cultivation of opium poppy seeds but by providing option of fruit crop or other cash crops as apple etc, as a substitute crop and construction of roads in these interior areas led to transformation in cultivation pattern and people were well earning now. Chief Minister said that the other factor that need to be kept in mind while addressing issues of drugs in young addicts was responsibility of both the legal and illicit drug industries, producing synthetic drugs. The drug racket seem to be well organized, have sophisticated and persuasive marketing and publicity strategies which do their research meticulously on the consumption patterns and establishing new markets and developing high-tech modes of transporting illicit drugs. This had to be tackled to save the younger generation and the country as well, he said. Shri Devendar Dutt, Secretary INSA welcomed the Chief Minister on the occasion. Rural Development Minister, Shri Anil Sharma, MLA, Kullu, Shri Maheshwar Singh, Chairman Wool Federation, Shri Raghubir Singh Thakur, General Secretary, State Congress Committee, Shri Surender Singh Thakur, Chairman HIMBUNKAR, Shri Tehal Singh Rana, DCC President Shri B.S.Thakur, Block Congress President Shri Bhuvnesh Gaud, Superintendent of Customs and former superintendent of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Shri O.P. Sharma, Director Information and Public Relations, Dr. M.P.Sood, members INSA Shri Jogendra Singh and Shri Anil Sharma were also present on the occasion amongst others.