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Pb: statewide survey to know extent of drug menace

Facing heat over drug abuse, Punjab government on Thursday said a statewide survey will be conducted to know the extent of the menace.

punjab Updated: Jan 15, 2015 22:49 IST

Facing heat over drug abuse, Punjab government on Thursday said a statewide survey will be conducted to know the extent of the menace.

"A statewide survey to scientifically monitor the extent of drug problem in the state will be conducted," Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said here.

"Indian Council for Medical Research, New Delhi has sanctioned a survey for the state that will take more than two years and state government has already sanctioned Rs 2 crore for the survey, he added.

Badal also said school education department has been asked to include one chapter on ill-effects of drugs in the curriculum so that young children could be weaned away from drugs.

Similarly, the department would give separate marks for sports participation to encourage youth to channelise their energy, Badal said.

Exhorting the people to join in a collective war against drugs, Badal said any complainant giving credible information about "drug pushers" at helpline number 181 will be awarded Rs 10,000 and his identity would remain anonymous.

Badal said he has already ordered dope test of new recruits in the government service.

Addressing a public conclave here to sensitise people about steps taken by state government to curb the menace, Badal accused vested interest of tarnishing the image of Punjabis by dubbing them as drug addicts.

"The repeated wrong perceptions created by some ill informed political leaders had been twisted by the media and Punjab was being projected as a State facing a serious crisis of drug addiction," he said.

Badal said that it was unfortunate that national political leaders with half-baked knowledge had branded Punjabi youth as drug addicts.

He said the time has come that public should confront all these leaders, who were projecting Punjabis as addicts and damaging the image of the state throughout the world.

Reiterating zero tolerance against drug trafficking, Badal made it clear that nobody at whatsoever position if found involved in drug trade would not be spared by the Punjab government.

Badal said that Punjab has registered maximum numbers of FIRs with 80.5 conviction rate while states like Goa, where drug problem was "acute", only 50 FIRs were registered in 2013.

He said Punjab being the border state had to suffer because it was being used as a transit route.

"We will however take this fight to its logical conclusion to save the youth of our country. We have decided to fight the nation's war and no amount of politicisation on this issue will weaken our resolve," he said.

On devolution of funds from Centre, Badal said that it was matter of great concern that Punjab's share in devolution of central taxes had been reduced from 2.5 percent in 1970 to 1.32 percent at present.

"Inefficiently performing states like Uttar Pradesh got devolution of funds to the tune of Rs 83,620 crore whereas Punjab got only Rs 9,270 crore in 2012-13," he alleged.

"We must stop encouraging inefficient and non-performing states and punishing best governed and performing states like Punjab," said Badal.

The deputy CM also asked the Chief Secretary to organize series of conclave in the educational institutions so that youth could be sensitised about reality and wrong perception about the drug menace.

First Published: Jan 15, 2015 22:29 IST