Ludhiana, September 21
In what appears to be a grim situation, nearly 100 villages and localities in Ludhiana district have been identified as drug hotspots, the administration confirmed.
The identification was carried out as part of the special campaign launched by the district administration to identify and reform drug addicts at the local level, the officials said.
Deputy Commissioner Surabhi Malik told The Tribune on Wednesday that an action plan has been put in place to combat drug abuse with a focus on identifying drug hotspots and by undertaking information, education and communication (IEC) activities with the efforts of the main departments concerned. — police, health and civil administration.
Drug-free neighborhood soon, says DC
We are committed to freeing Ludhiana district from drugs by putting peddlers and smugglers behind bars and reforming drug addicts. The younger generation is educated and motivated against drug use. —Sorabhi Malik, Deputy Commissioner
She said the SDMs have been assigned nodal officers for their subdivisions to act as the conduit and overall lead for the campaign.
Khanna Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Amarjit Bains, who was the Nodal District Anti-Drug Campaign Officer, said the number of cases recorded under the NDPS Act, the concentration of drug addicts in the area and drug-related complaints received were taken into consideration to mark a village or area as a drug hotspot.
“These were identified on the basis of mixed criteria of an objective and subjective nature,” he said, adding that the hotspots were also in varying degrees, with some facing serious problems and others less.
While a maximum of 28 drug hotspots have been identified in Ludhiana East subdivision, another urban subdivision in Ludhiana West has 27 drug hotspots.
Among others, 12 drug hotspots were marked in Jagraon, 11 in Payal, nine in Samrala, six in Raikot and three in Khanna.
The DC said SDMs regularly conduct search and seizure operations in their areas. “Those found in possession of contraband are taken into custody and NDPS cases are recorded,” she said, adding that the aim of the campaign was to get peddlers and smugglers to book and to reform drug addicts by admitting them to drug treatment centres.
Police Commissioner Dr Kaustubh Sharma said not only was the majority of the drugs recovered, but the number of arrests and NDPS cases this year were the highest in the past five years.