SHILLONG: The chairman of Meghalaya State Planning Board (MSPB) Lambor Malngiang held a meeting with various government departments including the police, village dorbar beside others on the rise of drug use and the increasing import of the substance into the State, on Monday.
The meeting was also attended by officers form the welfare department and various suggestions were given at the meeting to find a solution to curb the menace of drugs in the capital city and also across the State.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Malngiang said, “The police department has done a great job in decreasing the menace of drugs in the city especially during the recent operation as the police were able to arrest two persons and seized around Rs 4-5 crore worth of drug from a bus coming from Manipur.”
He however said that there is a need to have cooperation between various departments including the police and the village dorbar to tackle this menace of drugs.
When asked, he informed that this year alone the police have registered 31 cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 out of which eight persons have been arrested.
According to him, there is also a need for landowners to properly identify their tenants with the police department.
“The village dorbar should instruct landowners to inquire about their tenants and after forward the details of their tenants to the police to verify if they have any past criminal record or not which also includes drugs violation,” he said.
He also said that there is also a need to have a strong drug policy hence the procedure to bring about this policy is underway and this matter has also been undertaken by the welfare department to come up with other suggestions to strengthen the policy.
“We know that the drug policy has been delayed since the year 2012 however we need to take into consideration that there is a need for a strong policy hence another meeting will also be held with the welfare department to discuss on this issue,” he said.
Asked, if the board will request the state government to re-conduct a survey on the number of drug users in the state, he said, “The last survey was done in 2009 and there has been a gap of almost 10 years hence a suggestion to the state government will be forwarded to re-conduct the survey.”
He also said that there is a need to establish a rehabilitation centre with modern facilities which will benefit those users who wants out from drug addiction.
As there is no government run rehabilitation centre for drug users especially as the privately owned centers are quite expensive for those users who wants to change however cant because of its expensive to get treatment as they come from poor family background, he said, “In this regard we are still in discussion and maybe there is a need to propose to the government to have one government centre in the capital city of Shillong to help the youths of the state to overcome their addiction who can’t afford to go to these private centre to fulfill their desire.”
Asked, if the a proposal will also be submitted to the government to have a centre at every district, he said that this is a bit difficulty to answer at present because to have a government centre at every district in Meghalaya it also depends on the availability of funds.