CS expresses concern over drug menace

ITANAGAR, 8 Feb: Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on Monday expressed deep concern over the drug menace in the state.

Speaking during a meeting of the State Level Technical Expert Committee (SLTEC) at the secretariat here, the CS said that Namsai, Lohit, Dibang Valley, Upper Siang, Anjaw, Changlang, Tirap and West Kameng are reported to be among the 272 worst-affected districts in the country.

On reports that many government employees are involved in drug abuse, it was decided that toxicology tests will be carried out in the worst affected districts.

“Strong action will be initiated against government officials involved in any drug-related activities in any form,” the CS said.

Education on drug/substance abuse in secondary schools and senior secondary schools, and incorporation of women and PRI members, etc, are imperative, he said.

“Proper sensitization and orientation to undertake kiwi, large cardamom, ginger and others as an alternate cash crop, trained medical counsellors, etc,” were some points highlighted by the CS.

To address the growing menace of substance/drug abuse in Arunachal, the (SLTEC) had been tasked in November 2020 to prepare a comprehensive action plan. Accordingly, a team of 22 subject experts under the chairmanship of Health & Family Welfare Joint Secretary Mamta Riba was constituted.

As a way forward, the SLTEC recommended that the executive committee of the NCORD may be allowed to function as a state task force to oversee the implementation of anti-drug programmes.

The SLTEC recommended to the NCORD to engage in a study on “situational analysis on substance abuse in Arunachal Pradesh and its management with guidance from the National Institute of Social Defence.” (CS’ PR Cell)