66% homes in Doaba, Majha affected by drug menace

Chandigarh, October 18
Even as the Akalis spar with the Congress on the extent of drug menace in the state, the Directorate of Social Security has found one drug addict in 66 per cent of the households surveyed in the Doaba and Majha regions.

The directorate claims on its website that a household survey in various parts of Punjab saw 68.6 per cent households in the Doaba belt reporting a drug addict in the family. It said the number of households reporting drug addicts in the Majha region was 64.69 per cent.

Pradesh Congress legal cell co-chairman Jaiveer Shergill, giving this information to TNS today, claimed that the website had also listed that the use of opium was most rampant in the Majha region.

In Doaba, synthetic drugs and pills were favoured.

The website said the youth, especially students, were becoming addicted to alcohol, smack, cocaine, opium and over-the-counter drugs like mandrax.

The website said a household in Majha had the highest alcohol consumption of 58 per cent and that 30 voluntary organisations were working in the field of ‘drug de-addiction and prevention of alcoholism’.

These NGOs were given grants-in-aid by the Social Security Department.

Shergill said the government could not shy away from the statistics compiled by its own department. He said despite such alarming reports, the state had taken minuscule measures to address the problem.

He said the state had only one 10-bed de-addiction centre per district, two anti-narcotic monitoring cells and only 12 anti-narcotics officers.

He said he had suggested to AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi that each Pradesh Congress officer-bearer could be given a specific task for eradicating the menace.