Punjab government on Saturday said it has decided to award higher grants to panchayats that have made their villages drug-free and created awareness among people about its adverse impact.
Punjab rural development and panchayat minister Sikander Singh Maluka said the panchayats of drug-free villages would also be developed as modern village and will be honoured by the state government.
The minister said he had already issued directions to officers of his department to identify villages which are completely free of drugs.
The department would arrange a special programme to specially honour panchayats of such villages at Chandigarh to motivate the remaining ones against drugs, he said.
Maluka said the department would also initiate a campaign in villages having maximum cases of drug usage and efforts would be made to curb the trend of drugs in such villages.
The minister said a large population of Punjab has been residing in rural areas and it is the need of the hour to work for complete elimination of drugs from these rural belts.
"To achieve this target, the department has chalked out a special programme against this social evil and it is also decided to initiate the special anti-drug drive throughout the state, which will soon be implemented," he said.