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Menace of drug addiction

The casual approach of the Chief Secretary and administrative secretaries of four key departments not mustering with the State Accountability Commission (SAC), has convinced it to seek  comments directly from the Chief Minister and Ministers  of Health and Social Welfare over inaction in framing rules under section 71 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPSA). The SAC has also asked the Government about such rules in respect of de- addiction centres keeping in view the growing menace of drug addiction in the state. Charas , opium, fuki and other synthetic drugs are making inroads into the social groups at an alarming rate in the state and this trade is thriving with imperious and hardened  elements engaged in it . The state Accountability Commission has taken a suo- moto cognizance of such an imperiling phenomenon that of growing menace of drug addiction in different parts of the state. It had, therefore, sought response from the Chief Secretary and administrative secretaries of Home, Health, Social Welfare and Finance departments over inordinate delay in framing of appropriate rules under section 71 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 as also establishment of de-addiction centres for proper aftercare of drug addicts.
How can any casual approach in such a sensitive and critical matter be afforded at any level when the question is of the slow poison being injected into the health of the targeted people especially the youth, the future of the country? Although the Home and Finance departments filed responses, yet neither the Chief Secretary nor the administrative secretaries complied with the order of the SAC dated Dec27, 2017 which smacked of passing of the bucks on each other. It can be seen that the Home Department submitted that the entry of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in the state and prevention of abuse was being monitored by the Finance Department and further that no rules in terms of sections 71 and 78 of the NDPS Act had yet been framed. The Finance Department put forth its administrative and procedural arguments in its scanty written response.
From the above, it can be gauged that how in a very critical issue confronting the health , security and the very threat to life of the trapped people and those  prospective ones who succumbed to the peril of the temptation of the kick, the top officers of our administrative wings were adopting lackadaisical approach for effective implementation of NDPSA. Let no ambiguity be there in admitting that despite various successful raids and subsequent seizures of drugs and apprehending of those involved in the shoddy trade by the state Police, absence of effective  framing of rules under section 71 of the said Act were making the drive against the hazards of drug addiction less effective. Along with the effective rules, we underline the importance of the establishment of requisite centres for identification, treatment, education, after care rehabilitation and social integration of the addicts. The elected representatives passed a resolution unanimously in the Legislative Assembly during the just concluded Budget session asking the Government to take strictest measures to check the drug menace. The ball is now in the court of the Government.


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