Telangana will have a special cell headed by an official of Director-General rank to curb the increasing drug menace in the state.
The decision was taken by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday at a meeting with officials of the police and excise departments. He asked them to control the drug menace with an iron hand.
The Chief Minister wanted special surveillance at educational institutions. He directed the officials to increase the number of check posts at the state borders, strengthen the communication network and provide the required vehicles. He wanted the intelligence department to form a special wing for this.
He instructed Excise Commissioner Sarfraz Ahmed to strengthen the enforcement wing and the flying squads.
The CM asked officials to end the cultivation of opium and ganja and their consumption in the state. He stated with reports that the usage of cannabis (ganja) is on the increase, there is an urgent need to declare an all-out war against drug abuse.
Asking them to brace up before the situation gets out of hand, Rao directed the officials to prepare a comprehensive action plan to totally eradicate ganja production.
The CM told the meeting that the officials who help get good results in eradicating ganja cultivation, will be given cash awards, rewards and special promotions.
He suggested that the police officials study those places in the country where ganja cultivation was controlled effectively. “The police and excise department should work in coordination and enhance the state’s prestige by totally eradicating the menace. Even the seeds of the cannabis should not be found in the state. Make our state a drug-free state,” he told the officials.
Stating that Telangana state was achieved after a long fight, he said all this would go waste if the drug menace was not eradicated.” It is unfortunate that while the state is making rapid strides in development, the availability of the banned drugs has increased,” he said.
“One can assess the situation based on the reports that the estranged youth are forming WhatsApp groups, exchanging messages and taking drugs. Innocent youth are becoming prey to the drug peddlers. Due to usage of the banned drugs, the mental situation of youth will be harmed and it may lead to some of them committing suicide. De-addiction is a complicated and long procedure. The government is ready to provide anything to you to control this. Eradicate the ganja mafia and don’t spare the criminals whoever they may be,” the CM added.
He noted that illicit liquor and clubs for playing cards are again mushrooming in the state. He asked officials to take stringent measures against it.
Home Minister Mahmood Ali, Excise Minister V. Srinivas Goud, former minister Kadiam Srihari, Government’s Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Advisor (Home department) Anurag Sharma, DGP M Mahender Reddy, CM Principal Secretary S Narsing Rao and other officials attended the meeting.