SRINAGAR Jammu and Kashmir will be part of a joint working group announced on Thursday by the chief ministers of northern states to share experiences and best practices to tackle the menace of drug abuse.
In a joint statement, the chief ministers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, as well as top officials from Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chandigarh, agreed on a series of powerful measures to eradicate the drugs problem in the region, Press Trust of India reported.
The event was also attended by officials of the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and other central agencies.
The measures included joint operations at the interstate borders, information sharing and implementation of the best practices of the participating states, the statement said.
There was consensus among the states on the importance of strengthening the information-sharing mechanism on drugs, drug dealers and smugglers for an effective crackdown. The states agreed to launch major awareness programmes to make the eradication of drugs a peoples’ movement, it said.
The single-day conference proposed to jointly press the Centre to come out with a national drugs policy in order to effectively tackle the menace.
The states also agreed to urge the central government to establish a regional drug dependence treatment centre in Chandigarh region on the lines of the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), AIIMS, New Delhi.
They agreed to consider opening a regional training centre in Chandigarh for training of investigators for proper investigation of the cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
“We believe that these efforts will go a long way in eradicating this scourge from the region, thus protecting our youth and our future generations, and ensuring a safe, secure and healthy society,” according to the statement.
The states said they were committed to strengthen the process of consultation and cooperation, and collaborate more closely for making the region ‘nasha mukt’ (drug free).
Speaking during the press conference, J&K Governors Advisor KK Sharma said the policy introduced by the State was the second document in India after Punjab drafted for de-addiction. Our de-addiction policy in comparison to other policies has thrust on demand deduction rather than harm deduction, an official spokesperson quoted him as saying.
I would like to bring forth the fact that following implementation there is a massive multi-pronged strategy from various stake holders to limit the problem of drug addiction to minimal. From awareness campaigns to war on availability to treatment of affected all areas are being addressed in a sustained and goal directed way, the Advisor added.
The Advisor said that it would also be helpful to exchange the best practices of States in countering drug menace. Similarly, the experiment of JK Police drug de-addiction centers to cater to borderline cases is an example, he added.