Govt to objectively evaluate claims about ‘Nasha Mukt’ villages

Committee of officers constituted to formulate SOP

CS directs for extensive anti-drug campaign across UT

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Sept 3: The Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will objectively evaluate the claims about “Nasha Mukt” villages before issuance of certificate and a committee has been constituted to formulate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this regard. Moreover, directions have been issued for extensive anti-drug campaign in all the 20 districts by involving stakeholders including youth.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that in certain districts of the Union Territory the administration has claimed to have made some villages “Nasha Mukt” in all respect and even expressed optimism about achieving this milestone in respect of more villages in next few months.
The issue of villages having claimed to be “Nasha Mukt” came up for discussion in a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta and accordingly need of formulating Standard Operating Procedure in this regard was felt.
The SOP will help the Government to objectively evaluate such claims before certificate of “Nasha Mukt” is issued as per the guidelines of the Government of India, sources said while disclosing that Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department has been directed to formulate SOP in consultation with Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare Department and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Crime.
The draft SOP, which is expected to be formulated in the shortest possible time, will be finalized after seeking approval of the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, sources further informed.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary has acknowledged the urgency of addressing the issue of drug menace and has accordingly stressed the importance of immediate action. He has directed all concerned departments to launch an extensive “Nasha Mukt Abhiyaan” across the Union Territory which shall actively involve all stakeholders including Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and youth.
The Government vide Circular No.30-JK(GAD) dated September 3, 2022 had issued detailed instructions to almost all the Government departments for generating awareness about the drug addiction, identification of drug users and suppliers as also rehabilitation of victims. However, the departments focused on the assigned tasks only during the month of September 20222 and thereafter very few activities were conducted.
“As the menace of drug addiction is a serious issue as such there should not be any let up in the activities/tasks assigned to the departments by the General Administration Department in the month of September last year”, sources said quoting the directions of the Chief Secretary issued in a high-level meeting held recently, adding “the menace can be tackled through multi-level campaign and inter-departmental approach at Union Territory level, district level and Panchayat level”.
The Social Welfare Department is required to ensure active involvement of Anganwari workers and ASHA workers in identifying drug abuse victims and their rehabilitation while as Rural Development Department is supposed to coordinate with PRIs for identification of drug users and facilitating passing of resolutions by Gram Sabhas to check the menace.
The School and Higher Education Departments are required to ensure teaching on drug abuse and its ill effects on regular basis. Likewise, Health Department is supposed to hold regular counseling sessions with drug addicts and ensure availability of adequate substitute drugs for home-detoxification besides taking up research, survey and impact assessments on substance use.
The Urban Local Bodies are supposed to spread message on drug abuse in the localities under their jurisdiction through mobile vans, conduct regular checks on the activities of public in parks, hold regular sessions of sanitation workers and in slum areas regarding ill-effects of drugs etc.
Likewise, the Home Department has a major role to play in ensuring that Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act is implemented strictly in entire Union Territory and supply sources are tracked and illicitly grown poppy and cannabis are destroyed on regular basis besides ensuring mapping of drug farming areas.
Transport Department is supposed to ensure active and intense participation of transport associations in the awareness campaign and manage displaying of ill-effects of drugs on both public and private transport vehicles while as Floriculture Department is required to ensure that all gardens under its administrative control are not misused by drug victims/peddlers.