Asserting that SAD-BJP government was committed to make Punjab a drug-free state, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today began his two-day whirlwind tour of the drug de-addiction centers across the state.
The Chief Minister who visited the centers in Batala, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala, inspected the infrastructure and medical facilities being offered to the addicts undergoing detoxification there, according to an official release.
While talking to the Chief Minister, the addicts and their families expressed satisfaction over the campaign started by the state government against drugs, it said.
Most of the patients told the Chief Minister that they have come to these centers voluntarily after making up their mind to get rid of the addiction.
Interacting with mediapersons at ESI Hospital in Jalandhar, the Chief Minister said with the concerted efforts of the government, Punjab would soon become a "drug-free state".
He reiterated that the state government is following a twin strategy for wiping out the menace from Punjab. On the one hand, a massive drive has been initiated to cut the supply line of drugs and on the other hand, a campaign has been embarked for detoxifying the addicts, he said.
Badal said the state government is giving free medicines to the addicted youths in these centers.
The Chief Minister said to make sure that the de-addicted youth could live a life of dignity, the state government would open 22 rehabilitation centers across the state within three months.
Badal said while a state board under his chairmanship will monitor the working of the rehabilitation centres, district-level committees headed by the Deputy Commissioners concerned would manage the affairs of their respective centers.
Replying to a query about media reports pertaining to allegations of misuse of the NDPS Act, the Chief Minister said no such case has come to his knowledge.
However, he said framing of innocent persons would not be tolerated at any cost.
Expressing zero-tolerance towards drug peddlers, the Chief Minister said any person, however affluent he might be, would not be spared if his indulgence was found.
When asked about the allegations of involvement of some influential leaders in the drug trade, the Chief Minister said the state police was already probing the role of "influential persons" and the law would take its own course.