The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed governments of Punjab and Haryana to rope in NGOs at the grass-roots level to fight drug menace.
The direction came from the division bench of justice Surya Kant and justice PB Bajanthri during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) in which the high court is monitoring steps being taken by these governments to curb drug menace.
The HC bench asked the respondents to start the project at pilot basis in two districts. The NGOs could work in tandem with the local government committees set up to deal with drug menace and law enforcement agencies. The bench observed that the initiative could help in intelligence gathering against selling of drugs and identifying other problematic areas. The court also accepted counsel Navkiran Singh’s suggestion that a helpline should be established for the purpose wherein general public could provide any information about illegal selling of drugs in their locality.
The high court also accepted Navkiran’s request on taking help of NGOs in securing information about drug dealers from those lodged in de-addiction centres and directed Punjab and Haryana to take steps in this regard. The court also directed Punjab and Haryana to set up expert panels to work on the curriculum for educational institutes on drugs. The court directed that panels be constituted within two weeks so that curriculum could be introduced from the next academic session.
Haryana mulls curbs on chemist licences
The Haryana government on Wednesday submitted before the high court that it was mulling giving a maximum of two retail shops license to chemists in villages having population up to 5,000 and note more than three such shops licences in village with not more than 10,000 population.
The submissions were made in a detailed roadmap submitted before the high court. The court was told that two it had held two meetings — one chaired by health minister, Anil Vij and another by advocate general Haryana, BR Mahajan — to prepare roadmap to fight the menace. The court was told that a state-level committee would be formed to monitor progress of the project and in the fields committees would be chaired by the district committees presided over the deputy commissioners, the districts would also have enforcement wings, manpower for intelligence gathering and establishing a call centre facility to fight with the menace. The state also plans mapping of patients of substance abuse to ascertain the enormity.
The court was also told that all whole sellers and authorised stockist in the state have been directed to prepare monthly report of procurement of stock and sale of sale such drugs being used by drug addicts. The report is to be filed 5th day of every month. It was also told that state plans to hold monthly meeting with its counterparts in UT and Punjab.
The high court while posting the matter for February 16 has directed the state government to provide infrastructure details to these committees.