Himachal to launch special drive against drugs

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Shimla, July 24 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday decided on a special drive in the state against drugs by involving various departments as well as people at the grassroots level and a state-level Special Task Force to nab peddlers.

The Cabinet also directed the Home Department officials to ensure regular coordination at the Director General of Police-level, inter-state meetings and joint police operations to check inter-state movement of drugs, an official statement said here.

Under the special campaign, officials of education, health, police, social justice and empowerment departments will be roped in, besides panchayats, mahila mandals, parents, students and teachers.

The need to make amendments to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985 to make it more stringent was also discussed.

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The Cabinet also directed for the promotion of alternative crops in areas where cannabis is cultivated.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, also decided to allocate the 449-MW Dugar hydroelectric project in Chamba district to public sector NHPC Ltd for 70 years.

The Cabinet was told that in six months poppy cultivated on 1,366 bighas of land was destroyed compared with only six bighas in 2017. Also, 831 drug offenders were arrested during this period.

It approved the implementation of the Mukhya Mantri Khet Sarankshan Yojna and Mukhya Mantri Green House Renovation Scheme.

Under the Khet Sarankshan Yojna, 85 per cent grant will be provided to a group of three or more farmers and 80 per cent to an individual for erecting solar fences in fields to protect standing crops from wild animals.

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Under the renovation scheme, 70 per cent grant will be given to farmers to replace damaged sheets of polyhouses, instead of the current 50 per cent.

The Cabinet also decided to implement the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, as per which nearly 500,000 families will get health insurance cover of Rs 500,000 per annum.

At present, 175 hospitals are registered for providing free treatment to these families.

It approved enhanced financial aid of Rs 2.50 lakh in case of medical emergency to accredited journalists under the Himachal Pradesh Patrakar Kalyan Yojna, instead of Rs 50,000. The Cabinet removed the annual family income criterion of Rs 1.80 lakh for intended beneficiaries.

–IANS

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