A special campaign would be launched in the State to check drug menace by involving line departments of the State Government besides seeking active participation of panchayats, mahila mandals, parents, school children and teachers to curb this social vice. This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while interacting with the members of Press Club, Shimla here today.He said that Police Department has been directed to undertake strict and regular surveillance especially at the border areas of the State to crack the drug peddlers. He said that a State level Special Task Force would be constituted to check spread of this evil in the State. He said that efforts would be made to hold regular meetings even at Chief Minister level with the neighbouring States like Punjab, Haryana and Uttrakhand so that a joint strategy could be chalked out to weed out this vicious menace from the society. He said that joint police operations would be conducted with neighbouring States to check inter-State drug racket.He urged the members of the media to extend their wholehearted cooperation to spread awareness regarding this social evil and senstitize the people against ill effects of the drugs. While lauding the efforts of the Press Club to hold special awareness campaign regarding drug abuse in the State, he said that it was a matter of happiness that now every section of the society was coming alive for the ill effects of drug abuse as this was destroying the very fabric of the society.
The Chief Minister said that the Government has also decided that Kargil Day would be celebrated all over the State to pay tributes to the Kargil Martyrs.He said that State Government has maintained cordial relations with media and several schemes have been initiated for their welfare. He said that recently the State Cabinet has given its approval to enhance the financial assistance in case of medical emergency to accreditated journalists and retired accreditated journalists under Himachal Pradesh Patrakar Kalyan Yojna from existing Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2.50 lakh and abolished the annual family income criteria of Rs. 1.80 lakh per annum to avail the benefit of this scheme.Press Club Shimla President Dhanjay Sharma and General Secretary Anil Bhardwaj urged the Chief Minister to provide alternative land for the construction of Press Club building as the land allotted to Press Club at Subzi Mandi falls under core area and after NGT orders construction was not possible there.They also invited the Chief Minister to preside over the function regarding spreading awareness against drug abuse to be organized by the Press Club Shimla on 22nd August.Members of the Press Club and other senior journalists were present on the occasion.