Showing zero tolerance to stamp out drug abuse from the state, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday said that he would soon call on both the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister to seek their intervention to plug the supply of drugs from across the border.
Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of the Oath taking ceremony of newly inducted Cabinet Ministers here at Punjab Raj Bhawan, the Chief Minister said that the utmost concern of the state government at the present stage was to make Punjab a drug free state, for which the support of Centre government to cut the supply of drugs from across the border was a need of the hour. Badal said that he would soon flag up this issue with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to persuade them for taking effective steps including intensification of vigil at the international borders besides banning the sale of drugs like Poppy Husk openly in neighboring states like Rajasthan. He categorically said that the state government would leave no stone unturned to save Punjab from the scourge of drugs on one hand and restore its glory of a drug free state on the other.
The Chief Minister further said that on its part the state government has embarked a twin strategy to counter the menace of drugs in the state. He said that on one hand a special Narcotic cell of Police has been constituted to crackdown on the drug peddlers in the state and on other hand a massive drive has been initiated to rehabilitate to the drug addicts by administering them free medicines to them in the drug de-addiction centers across the state.
Badal said that these centers were being strengthened so as to impart quality treatment and counseling to the drug addicts. “I have personally visited some drug de-addiction centers running across the state and were functioning efficacious to rehabilitate the drug addicts in normal life” he added.
Exhorting the people to play a proactive role in motivating the youth to wean away from the menace of drugs, the Chief Minister said that the state government could accomplish this gigantic mission only with the whole-hearted support and cooperation of the masses. He even asked the family members of the drug addicts to help the state government in getting them de-toxicated in the drug de-addiction centers so that they could give up the diehard habit of drug addiction. Badal categorically said that all these efforts were aimed at to make our youth healthy and energetic to meet any sort of challenge during their lifetime.
The Chief Minister said that besides the drug issue he would also raise several other important issues concerning the development of state and prosperity of people with the Prime Minister and the other Central Ministers during his visit to New Delhi in the coming days. Badal said that he had already directed the officers of the state government to formulate a comprehensive plan to be submitted to the Centre for giving a major boost to the overall development and growth of the state.
Replying to another query, the Chief Minister said that the Cabinet reshuffle was aimed at filling the vacant posts in the council of Ministers to ensure better coordination and smooth administrative functioning. Asked to comment on the media reports about the resignation of MLA Hari Singh Zira, Badal termed these reports as baseless adding that it was an internal matter of the party, which would be amicably resolved within the party fold. Claiming that Zira has not resigned as a MLA, he said that the SAD leader from Zira was the most revered legislator amongst the Akalis, who had ever been a disciplined soldier and torch-bearer of the Akali Dal even in the most turbulent phase of its polity.
Referring to the proposal of interlinking of rivers at national level, the Chief Minister said that the SAD was a strong votary of the internationally accepted law of the Riparian Principles to settle the river water disputes amongst the states within the spirit and ambit of this globally acknowledged statue. Thus, he impressed upon the centre to give due weigthage to the Riparian law and none of any Union government should ignore this principle before taking any final decision relating to interstate water issues.
The Chief Minister categorically said that none of the Cabinet Minister could be held solely responsible for the functioning of the state government as it was the collective responsibility of the council of Ministers, which ought to be shared equally by one and all.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Principal Secretary SK Sandhu and Special Principal Secretaries Gaggandip Singh Brar and KJS Cheema.