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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Himachal MLA says drug sale, abuse on rise in Una, Kangra, blames influx from Punjab

Urban development Suresh Bhardwaj agreed about the growing problem of drug addiction in the state and assured the Gagret MLA of action on his complaint. He said that the police is now targeting big smugglers rather than consumers to tackle the drug problem.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
March 18, 2021 9:40:03 pm
The Imphal West SP appealed to people of the state to extend their support to the ‘war on drugs’ initiative taken up by the government in order to root out the drug menace confronting the state. (representational photo)

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly Thursday discussed the problem of drug sale and abuse in state with a legislator claiming that the problem was on the rise, especially in areas adjoining the Punjab border.

Gagret MLA Rajesh Thakur raised the issue saying that the drug problem in Una and Kangra districts is on the rise, especially in areas adjoining the Punjab border due to influx of drug users from the neighbouring state. “Residents of a village near the Pathankot-Damtal border in Indora, who were earlier engaged in liquor smuggling, are now engaged in the trade of chitta and making huge profits. Even women and the elderly are involved in drug trade. Their properties must be attached to stop this menace,” he said

Urban development Suresh Bhardwaj agreed about the growing problem of drug addiction in the state and assured the Gagret MLA of action on his complaint. He said that the police is now targeting big smugglers rather than consumers to tackle the drug problem.

In a written reply, Bhardwaj said 330 people have been arrested for possession of drugs in Una in the last three years. He said the state police seized over 627 gm synthetic heroin, over 15 gm charas and over 655 gm opium in Una between January 1, 2018 and January 31, 2021. Of the total 238 cases registered, 222 were sent to courts while 15 are under investigation and one report is cancelled, he added. “Criminals in one of the 222 cases were convicted, while 218 are pending in courts and accused in three cases have been acquitted, he added

Outsourced employees

People hired on an outsource basis in the state government are being exploited by their private employers, several members of the Vidhan Sabha alleged during the Question Hour.

In response to a query by Nachan MLA Vinod Kumar, Health Minister Rajiv Saizal said that around 550 outsourced employees working in the medical college in Nerchowk are being paid on time and their employers are adhering to tender documents.

However, several MLAs asserted that various outsourced employees are being exploited. MLA Pawan Nayyar said that in the Chamba medical college, outsourced workers have not been paid for months and are fired if they complain. Theog MLA Rakesh Singha said that outsourced employees should be hired on merit while Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri asked if the government plans to assimilate outsourced workers in government services.

Saizal replied that the state will soon be coming up with a model tender document to enforce a uniform policy for hiring outsourced workers so that their interests are protected, as announced by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in his budget speech.

Loans

The state government raised a net loan of over Rs 10,338 crore in the last three years, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said in a written reply to Kinnaur MLA Jagat Singh Negi.

The government took a gross amount of Rs 18,916 crore as loan from various agencies during the last three years, while also repaying loans worth Rs 8,578 crore, thus leading to a net loan of Rs 10,338 crore, said the reply. Besides the loan, debt liabilities of Rs 2,206 crore also piled up during this period on account of small savings, provident fund etc in the public account, it said.

The reply further said that the total debt liability of the state is currently Rs 60,500 crore. The state government received nearly Rs 24,000 crore from the central government under different schemes and heads during the last one year, it said.

Other replies

  • 540 new industrial projects have been set up in Himachal since December 2019, providing employment to over 2,800 people from the state
  • Around 24,000 people died in government hospitals in the state in the last three years
  • Drugs and pharmaceutical products made by 25 companies in Himachal failed quality tests from January 2020 to January 2021
  • In the last three years, the state government earned Rs 2,832 crore in terms of VAT on the sale of petrol and diesel
  • In the last three years, 10 people were murdered in Kinnaur district and more than a thousand cases of rape were registered in Himachal
  • Reliance Jio paid Rs 3.6 crore to the state public works department for damages caused to a road in Chamba district while laying optical fibre cables

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