Punjab Chief Electoral Officer formulated special action plan on drugs

Dec 14, 2016 18:04 IST

Punjab Chief Electoral Officer VK Singh on 14 December 2016 announced that the State electoral machinery has formulated a special action plan to contain the drug menace during the upcoming State Legislative Assembly elections.

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The elections are expected to be held in early 2017 for 117 assembly segments.

Key elements of the action plan

• The plan will be prepared by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) with the help of state and national agencies.
• The focus of the plan is to stop the use of drugs to influence the voters during elections.
• For its effective implementation, coordinating and monitoring committees will be set up at the district level.
• These committees will be headed by the Deputy Commissioners of the respective district.
• A Senior Superintendent of Police officer, a representative from Narcotic Control Bureau, a civil surgeon and representatives from the direct and indirect tax agencies will be the members of the committee.
• The committee will follow a two-pronged strategy viz., monitoring of law enforcement processes and intensive public awareness campaigns.
• The committee will be given powers to raise any issue related to implementation and coordination with higher-level committees and the election authority.
What are the causes for Punjab drug problem?
• The distress in the agrarian sector coupled with growing unemployment and lack of alternative jobs for the youth pushing them towards consumption of alcohol and use of drugs.
• Nexus between the politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats is greatly contributing to the problem.
• Its proximity to Afghanistan which produces around 90 percent of the world’s opium is also an important reason for the spread of drug menace in the state.


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