Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma along with officials from Social Welfare Department and several other officials on Thursday discussed drug menace in the state after concerns were raised by traditional heads and elders of various localities.

Briefing the media after the meeting, CM Conrad Sangma said a meeting was called with the home and social welfare department after visiting several localities in Shillong and instructions have been given to prepare detailed plans.

“So from the police point of view, more machines and technology to be able to scan and to stop the entry (of drugs) itself in different locations. So with the technology available, if more manpower is given, they’ll be able to do. So, I’ve asked them to make that report and submit to us in another 10 days’ time,” informed Sangma.

Similarly, the social welfare department has been asked to prepare a detailed report on what actions and programmes could be done from the preventive aspect angle, for awareness.

“We have asked them to prepare a more detailed programme on how each department, each organization, each headman, society and the locality can play a role in ensuring that awareness can be created about saying no to drugs,” the CM stated.

The chief minister said they also reviewed the rehabilitation, all the aspects of rehabilitation and they felt the need for more rehabilitation centers in certain areas that are harder hit.

“All these aspects were discussed and after 10 days, all the different departments will come with a more detailed report. Then we’ll be able to finalize on a proper plan of action,” said Sangma.

Concerning the state having no government rehabilitation centre and whether it is coming up with one, Sangma said the point is to be able to give rehabilitation and if there are organizations and NGOs that are capable; the government can support them, it would be more meaningful at the end. He stated that this way the society would be involved as well.

“So as and when we will have a comprehensive plan from the social welfare department and, if they feel we need to ask the department and the government to set it up, then definitely we’ll look into that aspect,” mentioned Sangma. 

“I think the management would be better and it would run better because NGOs have a sense of purpose. So involving them, I feel, is more meaningful and, therefore, I would want more NGOs to come forward and we are ready to work with them and support them,” added the chief minister.

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