HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Wednesday instructed officials to prepare a comprehensive action plan to totally eliminate ganja production and the ganja mafia.
Rao said with reports that usage of cannabis, also known as ganja, is on the rise, a need has arisen to declare an all-out war against drug abuse.
He said before the situation goes out of hands and becomes severe one should be on alert.
Addressing a high-level meeting of police and excise officials here, Rao instructed them to wipe out opium's illegal cultivation, usage and stamp it down, an official press release said.
"We have successfully controlled extremism in the State. Behind this victory, there are sacrifices from the police force. It is unfortunate that while the State is making rapid strides in development, the availability of the banned drugs has increased," the Chief Minister said.
"If we do not remove this malady, there is a danger that the results of all the victories that we have registered so far will go waste. The police and excise department officials should take a serious note of these warning bells. One can assess the situation based on the reports that the estranged youth are forming whatsApp groups, exchanging messages and taking drugs. Innocent youth are becoming prey to the drug-peddlers," he said.
Due to usage of the banned drugs, the mental health of youth would be affected and it may lead to some of them committing suicides.
De-addiction is a complicated and long procedure, he said.
"The government is ready to provide anything to you to control this. Eliminate the ganja mafia and don't spare the criminals whoever they may be," Rao told the officials.
Rao wanted the constitution of a special Cell with DG-level officer as the head.
He instructed the Excise Commissioner to strengthen the Enforcement wing and the flying squads and wanted special surveillance on educational institutions.
The Chief Minister wanted an increase in the number of checkposts on the State borders, strengthening of the communication network and providing the required vehicles and wanted the State Intelligence department to form a special wing in this regard.
He further said the officials who help get good results in ending the ganja menace would be given cash awards, rewards and special promotions.
He asked the police officials to study the places in the country where ganja is controlled effectively.
Rao further instructed the officials to control the illicit liquor and playing cards clubs, which are again coming up in the State and directed them to initiate stringent measures so that this malady does not surface again.
"The police and excise department should work in coordination and enhance the State's prestige by totally eliminating the drug menace and even the seeds of the cannabis should not be found in the State. Make our State as the drug-free State," Rao said.
State Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Excise Minister V Srinivas Goud, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy were among those present at the meeting.