The Chief Ministers of four Northern States on August 20, 2018 unanimously decided to set up a joint secretariat at Panchkula, Haryana for data and information sharing to effectively tackle the issue of drug menace in their respective states.
The decision was taken during the Regional Conference on Drugs – Challenges & Strategies, convened here to discuss and formulate a joint strategy to fight drugs.
The decision was taken during the regional conference on ‘Drugs – Challenges & Strategies’, which was convened in Chandigarh to discuss, evolve and formulate a joint strategy to fight drugs. The meeting saw in attendance Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur also attended the meeting through video conferencing.
• The Chief Ministers of the respective states decided to spend more resources to fight the drug problem, spread awareness and prevent people from falling prey to drugs.
• On the enforcement front, the Ministers agreed to be more proactive and facilitate a quick exchange of information on drug trends, cases registered, persons named, wanted or arrested.
• To facilitate easy coordination for the same, the states agreed to set up a common secretariat in Panchkula.
• They also decided that each of them will appoint a nodal officer at the joint secretariat to coordinate and facilitate the data sharing process.
• Further, the states decided that there will be a meeting of all Chief Ministers every six months and an officer level meeting every three months, which will be rotationally chaired by the Chief Secretary or the Director General Police of the states concerned.
• They also called upon the Chief Secretary / Director Generals of Police of the concerned States, Senior Superintendents of Police of the adjoining districts of the various states to coordinate with each other on a day to day level.
• They also extended an invitation to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and senior officials or authorities from Jammu and Kashmir to join in the next meeting to find a solution to the common problem.
• The meeting was also attended by senior civil and police officers from Rajasthan, Delhi, and Chandigarh.
• The states also decided to launch a major awareness campaign in their respective schools, while engaging youth in sports and other activities at village levels.
• They also decided to undertake skill development of the youth on a major scale to prevent the spread of drugs.
• All the states were of the view that information and data sharing was critical to making the fight against drugs a success.
• Further, to prevent young children from falling prey to drug addiction, the states decided to launch awareness programmes by departments including the Education, Health and Skill Development along with non-government and community organisations in schools, colleges, universities and residential areas.
• The states also agreed to invest more resources in setting up more de-addiction centres and strengthening the existing ones whether in the public or private sector. They agreed to go in for intensive identification of “at high risk” individuals and addicts and their prompt medical treatment.
• They also agreed to strengthen the work at the grassroots through use of all possible technologies to make more villages, mohallas and cities drugs free.
• Besides this, the regional conference highlighted the importance of social media in spreading awareness about drug abuse.