Comprehensive action plan needed to tackle drugs problem: Mein

NAMSAI, Jan 27: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein called for concerted effort to fight the drugs/opium menace that has engulfed Namsai and nearby districts.
“One of the major challenges the state is facing today is the problem of drugs and drug trafficking, where Namsai has been the worst affected. A comprehensive action plan has to be developed and launched at the earliest,” Mein said while chairing a coordination meeting at the mini secretariat here.
He emphasized on proper cooperation and exchange of information between the public and the administration to effectively fight the problem.
“The roles of parents, teachers and the bhikkhu sangha of the district are equally important in educating their children about the ill-effects of drugs abuse,” he said, and called for dealing with drug peddlers and addicts with an iron hand.
“No one should be spared, whoever is found indulging in such illegal activities,” he said, and added that teachers found indulging in drugs consumption or peddling would be given two months to rectify their ways.
“Or else, they will be suspended immediately from service,” he warned.
Mein emphasized on a project combining “drug control and development assistance” to provide the poor with alternative means of livelihood, so that they can abandon poppy cultivation.
He directed the Namsai DMO to make the de-addiction centre at Lathao functional from the untied fund made available to the DC. He also announced to take up the matter of upgrading the de-addiction centre to a rehabilitation centre at the highest level.
He directed the Police department and organizations to conduct raids in places where opium is sold, and to leave no stone unturned to nab drug peddlers.
Mein urged the Tai Khampti Singpho Council, and women and the youth organizations of the district to spearhead the crusade to eradicate the opium and drugs menace from the society.
Local MLA Chow Zingnu Namchoom appealed to CBOs, NGOs and student organizations to work collectively in the greater interest of the society.
He informed that the state government has initiated many welfare measures and skill development programmes for the unemployed youth to undergo training, and advised them to take advantage of the programmes.
He said that the elected representatives of the area are well aware of the drugs and opium problem being, “and this problem is being highlighted by them at the highest level at regular intervals to find concrete solutions.”
It is because of their effort that regular de-addiction camps have been organized in the district from time to time, he said.
“All the elected representatives are going to be there to raise their concern until the last poppy plant is destroyed from the area,” Namchoom added.
Later, a joint action committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Namsai deputy commissioner.
Divisional Commissioner Bolum Siram, Tax & Excise Commissioner Anirudh Singh, DC RK Sharma, DIG (E) Apur Bitin and SP CK Mein highlighted problems of illicit poppy cultivation and the danger posed by drugs to public health.
Members from CBOs, NGOs, women’s organisations and students’ organizations made presentations on the current situation and the ways to tackle the drugs problem. They decided to improve information exchange mechanisms on opium camps, and to root out illicit drug trafficking hubs from the district.