DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday issued instructions to form a ‘Narcotics Rapid Action Force’ to achieve the goal of a ‘Drug Free’ state by 2025.
“All concerned officials, departments should work in mission mode to form a Narcotics Rapid Action Force to eradicate drug menace from our state,” said the CM while chairing the meeting of the Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD).
“Drug addiction is one of the big problems our youth is facing today. Children who have been misguided to the dark paths of addiction must not be treated like criminals. They should be brought back into the mainstream through rehabilitation and other humane efforts,” he added.
In the year 2016, for coordination among various central and state agencies of the country, the Narco Coordination Centre (NCORD) mechanism was set up by the union ministry of home affairs (MHA).
The meeting was also attended by additional chief secretary Radha Raturi, director general of police Ashok Kumar, principal secretary L Fainai, secretary to CM Shailesh Bagoli and other senior officials from the state government.
Two de-addiction centres will also be established by the government for the rehabilitation of youth affected by the menace.
The data by the state police department about seizure and recovery of illegal drugs, including heroin, opioids, injective drugs and smack indicates a rise in the drug menace in Uttarakhand.
According to police data, 0.1 kg of heroin was recovered in the state in 2020 followed by 1.2 kg in 2021. The number of opioid tablets such as Tramadol and Fentanyl is 8,408 in 2020 to 1,18,361 in 2021. Units of injective drugs which were also increased from 5,123 in 2020 to 9,992 in 2021.
The most trafficked drug in Uttarakhand remained smack (or black tar heroin) with a recovery of 18.1 kg in 2021 and 12.1 kg in 2020.
The issue is considered highly sensitive in the state and multiple petitions have been filed in Uttarakhand. The HC issued a set of directions a few years back to curb the menace.
In 2018, the Uttarakhand high court taking note of rampant drug abuse in educational institutions of the state directed the state government to constitute “Anti-Drug Clubs” in schools and colleges of the state which will be monitored by the director of education.
The directions came while hearing the PIL of Shveta Mashiwal, a resident of Ramnagar, Nainital district of Uttarakhand alleging rampant drug abuse in educational institutions of the hill state.