Arunachal CM calls upon people to wage war against drug menace

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday exhorted the people of the state to join hands with the government in its crusade against the drug menace.

He appealed to the leaders of various communities to take part in programmes launched by his government for prevention of substance abuse, especially by the youth.

“We are committed to achieving ‘Drug free Arunachal’ through various means, but all of these measures will require multi-sectoral coordination among departments, and more importantly cooperation from the society,” the chief minister said after unfurling the Tricolour at I G Park here on the occasion of the country’s 74th Republic Day.

A colourful parade displaying military might was followed by cultural performances at the programme.

Khandu, on the occasion, also awarded three gold medals, seven silver and 16 commendation certificates to persons in various fields for the meritorious work.

The CM said that a special ‘anti-narcotics task force’ has been formed and a ‘narcotic helpline’ instituted to generate information about the menace and break the supply chain.

“I appeal to the people to help this endeavour by generating intelligence for targeted action,” he said.

Citing the success story of Medo village in Lohit district, where pumpkin cultivation has replaced illegal poppy seed farming, the chief minister urged people to intensify the war against opium.

He advised them to take up alternative cash crop farming like ginger, mustard and tea.

Talking about the development initiatives in the state, Khandu said that his government has successfully completed 365 projects in various sectors at an investment of Rs 11,399.49 crore, as promised last year.

“The rainbow of our achievements spread from infrastructure overhaul and connectivity improvement to health and education systems transformation and use of technology for welfare of children, women and farmers,” he said.

Khandu expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sanctioning various projects in the state, including the strategic Arunachal Frontier Highway, benefitting its population.

“In seventy years since Independence, only 20,000 kilometers of roads were built in the state, with an average of 280 km per year, but in the past seven years alone, 12,000 km more have been added,” Khandu noted.

“I am also happy to announce that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved an additional 2,574 km of highways for the state worth Rs 44,000 crore,” he stated.

Iterating that his government has adopted a “zero tolerance approach” for corruption, Khandu said that a robust framework of standard operating procedures is being formulated to check malpractices.

Referring to the decades-old boundary dispute between Arunachal and Assam, Khandu said that under the Namsai Declaration adopted on July 15 last year, both the state governments have decided to amicably resolve all issues.

The CM called upon people to remain rooted in their identity, traditions and collective history.

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