Jammu and Kashmir is gripped with drug addiction as a huge chunk of the population has become drug addicts.
During the maiden meeting of the state-level committee of the narco coordination centre held on Friday under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Arun Kumar it was informed that as per a consumption survey, Jammu and Kashmir has 6 lakh people affected by drug-related issues which are approximately 4.6% population of the Union Territory of which 90% users are from 17-33 age group.
It was informed that Jammu and Kashmir is situated in close vicinity to the golden crescent which produces 80 percent of the world’s opium and is considered as the prime source of the illicit drug trade.
The meeting outlined broad project contours for tackling the drug menace in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chief Secretary underscored the need of compiling data on the production of poppy and cannabis in Jammu and Kashmir as well as cross-border transportation to assess the presence of these drugs and their synthetic derivatives in J-K.
For curbing the illicit cultivation of poppy, Mehta directed the Anti-Narcotics Tasks Force (ANTF) in convergence with the Excise and Agriculture departments; to map the expected cultivation areas and take remedial actions for the destruction of the illegal crop, both on private and government lands.
The ANTF was further asked to formulate an action plan to prevent such cultivation in the next season.
Observing that drug menace in terms of usage and addiction has significantly gone up in Jammu and Kashmir during recent years, the Chief Secretary directed the concerned to enhance the conviction rate in narco-related cases while simultaneously focusing on proper counselling and rehabilitation of drug-affected youth.
The J-K is gripped in narco-terrorism as the international drug mafia is smuggling drugs through the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) to sell a small portion in this region and the remaining consignment in the neighbouring Punjab.