Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Tuesday reiterated his directions to the Health Department to formulate a comprehensive policy to effectively deal with the challenge posed by the menace of drug addiction that has seriously endangered the future of our younger generation. He said the government is keen to prevent menace of drug abuse, which is spreading like a ‘cancer in society’. “We need de-addiction and rehab centres at all district hospitals for our youth who fall easy prey to drugs,” he said, after the Lower House echoed concern over excessive use of drugs by youth, the most vulnerable section of the society. The Chief Minister was speaking during Zero Hour and discussions on Private Members’ Resolutions, when several members, cutting across party lines, raised issues related to rising drug abuse, posting of lecturers in colleges, filling up of vacancies in Rural Development Department (RDD), distribution of ration and promotion of border tourism in the state. Expressing serious concern over proliferation of drug use amongst youth, the Chief Minister said the Health Department has been tasked to frame a comprehensive policy on the issue to safeguard future of our children. “Even though Police have established some drug de-addiction centres at a few places, the onus primarily lies on the Health Department to put in place an effective mechanism to counter drug addiction,” he said, while referring to his instructions given to Health Department to start counselling and rehab centres at all district hospitals. Referring to the lack of infrastructure at Bani College, in Kathua, the Chief Minister said he will ensure that facilities there compare with those available in any other college of Jammu. He said he was aware of the difficulties and hardships faced by our children who pursue higher studies in remote and inaccessible areas of the state. Responding to the query raised about vacancies in Rural Development Department, the Chief Minister said if the posts of BDOs are not filled up, the basic objective of development of rural areas in the state will get jeopardized. He assured that necessary steps far expediting filling up of these posts will be taken. The Chief Minister observed that usually matters highlighted in Zero Hour are not responded to, but keeping in view the significance of the issues raised, he chose to make a statement on several important issues raised in the House. Asking the members to appreciate the Government’s role in streamlining the Public Distribution System in the state, Mufti Sayeed said it is a major achievement of the Government that ration is now being provided to people as per 2011 Census, when earlier it was being distributed as per Census 2001. “It is an ongoing process and all parts of the state will be provided ration as per Census 2011,” he said, while assuring MLAs from Kokernag and Dooru constituencies of corrective measures to be taken by CA&PD for distribution of ration. Responding on the issue of promotion of border tourism in the state, the Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of Tourism department, assured the Lower House that government is working on a plan to showcase Chhamb, Suchetgarh, Janjar (Nowshera), Chakan da Bagh (Poonch), Uri-Salamabad (Baramulla) and Kargil as new destinations points for tourists, on the pattern of Wagah, which attracts fairly large number of visitors.
2015 Kashmir Despatch