Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary Naresh Kumar has directed the government departments and NGOs to work collectively to address the drug issue in the state.

Addressing a review meeting on Friday to discuss the issue of drug abuse and de-addiction strategy in Arunachal Pradesh, Kumar directed the police, health, education, SJETA and the tax excise & narcotics to work collectively in order to give a tough fight to all the anti-social elements that are playing with the future of the state and spoiling the life of the young children.

The chief secretary expressed that it is important to give special focus on preventive education, especially to the students.

He accordingly asked the health, social justice & empowerment and tribal affairs (SJETA) and education departments to create awareness on drug menace by organizing awareness programmes and workshops at schools and districts starting from the worst affected ones.

Taking serious cognizance of the presence of suppliers, peddlers and consumers in the state, Kumar directed the police to take all immediate actions to choke the supply chain at the earliest. He directed the police and the tax excise and narcotics departments to use every possible man, machine and other resources which may help them get to the culprits and book them accordingly as per the provisions of law.

“Serious action needs to be taken against the culprits and it should serve as an example to other offenders,” he said.

Kumar further directed the district administration and the forest department to remain vigilant on illicit cultivation in their districts, especially at reserved forests.

Use of satellite images was recommended by the chief secretary to capture the cultivated areas in mountainous or rough terrains and take actions accordingly.

Kumar also reviewed the status of drug de-addiction centers in the state.

On being informed that there are presently 8 centers out of which 7 are functioning, the chief secretary directed the health department to focus on the proper functioning of these institutions which are located in Pasighat, Tezu, Lathao, Hayuliang, Bordumsa, Khonsa and Aalo.

Necessary counseling, treatments, rehabilitation, follow-ups, and tracking should be made a mandatory part of the treatment at all the drug de-addiction centers, he said.

The chief secretary also asked the government departments to assist the NGOs and women organizations of the state that are actively involved in drug demand reduction and rehabilitation activities by giving them the necessary support.

Principal Secretary (home) Rajeev Verma, SJETA commissioner Padmini Singla, education commissioner Niharika Rai, ADGP Ravindra Yadav, IGP (Law & Order) Chukhu Apa, and others were present in the meeting.

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