Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Friday called on his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar here to discuss greater coordination in the battle against drugs and offered to host the next meeting of chief ministers of northern states.
After the 30-minute meeting with Khattar, Amarinder said the meeting of all northern states would be hosted by Punjab on July 25 over the menace of drugs.
The chief ministers of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi, the Jammu and Kashmir governor, the lieutenant governor of Delhi and the Punjab governor, who is also Chandigarh’s administrator, are expected to join the second inter-state meeting on drugs, a Punjab government spokesperson said.
The first meeting was held last year and the northern states had decided to set up a centralised secretariat in Haryana’s Panchkula district with nodal officers from each state to be deputed there for intelligence and information sharing, he said.
The states had also agreed on a more proactive campaign to fight the menace of drugs on a joint platform, with faster sharing of information on drug trends, cases registered and the people identified or arrested.
After the meeting held here Friday, Singh said his government was committed to the total elimination of drugs “which are being smuggled into Punjab from across the borders, not just from Pakistan, but also from within the country, especially Kashmir”.
He reiterated his government’s zero tolerance policy towards drugs, the spokesperson.
According to a Haryana government spokesperson, Khattar informed the Punjab chief minister that though the problem of drugs was not as alarming in Haryana as it was in the neighbouring state, the BJP government had taken several steps for its prevention and to raise awareness among the youth.
As many as 1000 ‘yog’ and ‘vyamshalas’ have been set up in Haryana with a view to channelise the energy of youth in the right direction, Khattar said.
In June, the Haryana Police had organised a meeting of top police officials of several northern states and Chandigarh to evolve strategies in order to fight drug abuse and trafficking.
During the meeting, challenges of drug abuse and trafficking, and strategies to combat them were discussed, officials had said.
Official sources, meanwhile, said that SYL and water sharing issues were not discussed. The Supreme Court had recently asked Punjab, Haryana and Centre to resolve the issue of SYL by convening a meeting by September 3.