Hyderabad: Students in the State may have a lesson on the adverse impacts of drug abuse in their syllabus with Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao directing officials on Wednesday to explore the possibility of including a lesson on the menace in school syllabus.
Instructing his Officer on Special Duty Deshapathi Srinivas to immediately take measures to create awareness against drug abuse among students from the early stage of schooling, the Chief Minister also asked the officials concerned to explore all possible ways to spread awareness and discourage youth from falling prey to drugs.
Speaking at a high-level meeting on measures to be taken to root out marijuana, gudumba and gambling menace in the State, the Chief Minister instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to give wide publicity against drug usage through short films, documentaries, and also audio-video advertisements. He also suggested the officials to examine the feasibility of giving subsidy for feature films which send out a strong message to youth against drug use. He wanted the officials to take up special publicity campaign against the drug menace in the State and pointed out that the government could successfully create awareness about AIDS through similar publicity campaign.
Chandrashekhar Rao categorically asserted that no ganja plant should be seen in Telangana State and wanted the police as well as excise officials to crack the whip and achieve desired results. He warned the tribals who were indulging in ganja cultivation in remote forests that the government will not only revoke their ROFR pattas (if any), but would also cancel Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bima benefits applicable to them. Criminal proceedings also will be initiated against them. The police and excise officers were directed to devise a fool-proof strategy to curb ganja cultivation and also gudumba manufacturing in tribal areas.
During discussion on the strategies to be followed by the police and excise officials in different districts to prevent ganja transportation, the officials informed that there was reliable information that marijuana is being cultivated along the Andhra-Odisha border as well as Chhattisgarh and was being smuggled into Telangana along the State border between Chinthooru and Bhadrachalam areas. Thereafter, the ganja is also being transported to Maharashtra and Karnataka through various routes.
The Chief Minister suggested that the officials coordinate with their counterparts from neighbouring States, in order to stop marijuana smuggling. It was suggested for increased surviellance especially at checkposts belonging to the police, excise and forest departments to prevent ganja from entering the State borders from other States.
Further, it was observed that youth and migrant workers were among the major consumers of ganja in the State. He wanted the officials of Intelligence wing to play crucial role in prevention of ganja cultivation, transportation, sale and usage, by strengthening their network further. The officials were advised to involve sarpanches and other elected representatives to curb cultivation of marijuana in villages. Special advocates will be hired to fight the cases against the drug peddlers.
“The narcotics menace is still under control in the State, but any negligence in stemming it now, could result its escalation,” Chandrashekhar Rao said. On the occasion, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and DGP M Mahender Reddy said that the joint meeting of police and excise officials was a major step in curbing the drug menace in the State. They directed the officials to identify the hotspots for ganja usage and cultivation in order initiate stringent steps to their prevention. They also assured to take measures for coordination with the police officials of neighbouring States especially Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh and Malkangiri of Odisha.
Chandrashekhar Rao wanted the officials to act strictly against gudumba amidt reports of its manufacturing in different parts of the State. He promised to release adequate funds for creating alternate livelihood and rehabilitation of the families who are dependent on gudumba manufacturing for livelihood. The excise officials were instructed to strictly implement the prohibition on gudumba preparation and consumption as well make necessary corrections in case of any gaps in implementing the ban orders.
Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud and Excise Commissioner Sarfaraz Ahmed have been asked to review the situation at regular intervals and take necessary measures to curb ganja and gudumba in the State.
Take note of warning signals: CM to officials
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday urged police and excise officials to take serious note of the warning signals that were coming out on the issue of ganja cultivation and drug peddling and consumption in the State.
“I convened this high level meeting with a lot of pain and concern. One can assess the situation based on reports that innocent youth are being misled into forming WhatsApp groups, exchanging messages and consuming drugs. They are falling prey to drug peddlers,” he said, adding that the mental condition of youth was getting affected and even leading to suicide in some cases on account of consumption of banned substances.
Stating that de-addiction was a complicated and long procedure, Chandrashekhar Rao promised that the government was ready to provide complete support to the enforcement authorities to control the menace. He wanted the authorities to eradicate the drug mafia and not spare the criminals involved.
“We have successfully controlled extremism in the State. Behind this victory, there are sacrifices made by the police force. They have waged a valiant battle. With this, Telangana’s prestige and respect has gone up. It is unfortunate that while the State is making rapid strides in development, the availability of banned drugs has increased and is a cause of concern,” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister said that Telangana State, which was achieved after a long fight, scaled new heights in development and welfare. With crop cultivation taken up in 1.3 crore acres, Telangana was surging ahead of Punjab in the agriculture sector. Further, the State supplies drinking water to even remote villages trough Mission Bhagiratha, besides achieving wonderful results in the power sector.
“We have been fulfilling the aspirations of the Statehood movement and marching ahead as well as winning appreciation within the country and across the world. Nearly 99 per cent of the multinational companies are investing in the State. We are able to attract such huge investments due to the excellent law and order situation maintained by our police with their professional skills and capabilities,” he added.
Home Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud, former Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari, Government Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Government Advisor (Home) Anurag Sharma, DGP M Mahender Reddy, CM Principal Secretary S Narsing Rao, Secretaries V Seshadri, Smita Sabharwal, Rahul Bojja, Bhoopal Reddy, Rajashekhar Reddy and others participated in the meeting.
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