Punjab health and family welfare minister Surjit Kumar Jyani has pitched for making dope test mandatory for candidates applying for government jobs or any other service as part of government's efforts to curb drug menace in the state.
"We should make dope test mandatory for every candidate appearing for any government service or he is applying for licenses like driving, arms etc and any other government facility," the minister said in Kharar.
Jyani was of the firm opinion that everyone applying for government employment and for any type of licenses and availing any other government facility or benefit should be subjected to dope test and whosoever tests positive should be debarred for life from getting any government service, license and facility or benefit.
He, however, said that drug problem in the state was not as acute as being projected.
"The problem is not so acute as it is being projected. The state government had done a lot and is doing a lot not only to curb the menace but also to de-addict and rehabilitate the victims," the Minister said.
Talking about the steps being taken regarding drug de-addiction and rehabilitation in the state, the Health Minister said as many as 27 drug de-addiction centers (DDCs) have been operationalised so far in the state.
"Five DDCs are being set up at Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda while 50-bedded DDC at Amritsar and Faridkot are fully functional," he said.
He further said that de-addiction centers had also been set up in eight model central jails at Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Faridkot and Ferozepur. Till now, more than 22,000 patients have been treated in jails, Jyani said.
According to the health minister, Punjab will soon have a capacity of about 450-edded DDC and more than 1,000-bedded rehabilitation centers in the state as parts of its efforts to tackle the drug problem.
Giving a clarion call to free Punjab from the scourge of drugs, Jyani said the state government was committed to make Punjab drug-free but the social, religious and political organizations should unite to fight the war against drugs.