Tough, but addicts will find way to drugs; Will Punjab get rid of narcotic?
After an initial phase of hectic activity following the takeover by the Congress government, the anti-drug mission seems to have settled into a new balance. Today it might be at a slightly lower level, but the availability of drugs for whoever wants it, and the desperation of addicts, continues essentially unchanged over the past year.
Parminder Kaur, in charge of the SAKET Red Cross De-Addiction Centre in Patiala, which is funded by the Central government, says the number of patients reporting daily at the OPD in the centre is about 60, and the monthly admission rate of addicts at the centre is 50-60. What is of concern is that around half the cases are of heroin addiction.
In 2017, there was a sudden rush of patients at the centre for a while; such that they even had to keep addicts in waiting. But now the flow is back to what it was a few years ago. Though, in all, an estimated 400 people undergo treatment at the six government and several private drug de-addiction centres across the district every month. An employee at the SAKET centre says addicts find it difficult to give up drugs. They need regular psychiatric sessions, which not all of them are able to get. Many become clean in the hospital, but get back to drugs when they return to their home environment.
Shift to milder drugs
Some of the addicts in Patiala that The Tribune spoke to say there is some difficulty now in procuring drugs, but they are able to manage it somehow. And when they can’t get drugs like heroin, they opt for alternatives such as pills, or even alcohol.
Data at de-addiction centres shows the majority of addicts are in the age group of 16 to 35, habituated to different kinds of drugs. Their reasons for taking to drugs vary from unemployment, to bad company, to even love, but the consequences are equally miserable.
One of the addicts who has been admitted in a private centre by his family thrice says someone on drugs will somehow manage to arrange it, even if in smaller quantities and for higher prices. “After staying in the centre for a year at a stretch I had quit drugs completely. However, when I returned home, I could not resist the temptation as there were many youngsters in my village into drugs.” He now drinks liquor mostly because of the increased police vigil, taking smack once in a while.
Police see improvement
The police, of course, claim the situation is much improved. SP (Investigations), Patiala, Harvinder Singh Virk says the change has come from a major crackdown on peddlers. There is a shift from drug peddling to trade in illegal liquor. A total of 528 cases were registered under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) Act in 2017, out of which 133 were of commercial use of drugs and 395 of non-commercial use.
Police data shows the average age of peddlers dealing in small quantities is below 30 years, while that of smugglers handling large quantities is above 45. Most small peddlers are addicts, who start doing it to pay for their own addiction. Virk says that awareness drives have helped encourage around 50,000 people in Patiala district to register under the Drug Abuse Prevention Officer programme.
Some jobless, some loveless
Data at de-addiction centres shows the majority of addicts are in the age group of 16 to 35, habituated to different kinds of drugs.
Their reasons for taking to drugs vary from unemployment to bad company, to even heartbreak.
Addicts find it difficult to give up drugs. They need regular psychiatric sessions, which not all of them are able to get.
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In Israel, Haryana CM invites investment; Will Israel invest in Haryana?
Determined to double the income of farmers by 2022, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has invited technologies and investment and sought collaborations in the fields of waste water treatment, micro-irrigation, precision farming, crop innovation, and sprinkler system to assist and enable farmers of the state to produce more and earn more.
Speaking during the inaugural session of the 20th International Agritech on Tuesday in Tel Aviv, where high profile ministers, governors and delegates from 51 countries participated, the Chief Minister invited potential partners, companies, and research institutions from Israel to come forward and be a part of the growth story of Haryana.
Stressing on the need for family and integrated farming to combat desertification, he said integrated farming also reflected the social character of the joint family system in India.
The Chief Minister said ways should also be explored for the development of arid and semi-arid regions where industrialisation could play an important role.
Positing Haryana as a leading state, both in industry and agriculture, the Chief Minister said the state had emerged as a preferred investment destination among foreign investors.
He invited Israeli companies to come and invest in the shared future of Haryana and Israel. The representatives of the Israeli Government lauded the contribution of Haryana.
HUDA Enhancement : One-time settlement scheme put off; Will this scheme be successful?
The Haryana Shehari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), earlier know as HUDA, deferred the launch of the one-time settlement scheme (OTSS) in respect of recovery of additional price on account of enhancement from its allottees till May 15.
J Ganesan, Chief Administrator, HSVP, confirmed that the OTSS, including rebate of 40 per cent on payment of outstanding dues as announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on May 4 after his meeting with representatives of Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) from across the state, would now be launched on May 15.
The scheme would remain in force for two months, after which the allottees would have to make complete payment of the outstanding amount.
He said that a rebate of 40 per cent on the amount outstanding on account of additional price, including the delay interest as shown pending in the account of the plot, would be allowed in respect of full amount.
As a precondition to availing benefit of the scheme, the allottees would withdraw the litigation initiated by him or her individually or through the RWAs etc, assailing the demand of additional price by the HSVP, if any, pending in court.
Ganesan said by accepting the scheme, the allottees would be deemed to have consented to settle the litigation in this regard.
“We have sent SMS to all the 3.25 lakh allottees of the HSVP with a link of the OTSS posted on our official website. All the Deputy Commissioners, Administrators and Estate Officers of the HSVP have been requested to hold meetings of the allottees and persuade them for accepting this scheme, since it was the best the government could have offered,” he said.
Sources said the decision had been taken in view of the protests being held by RWAs across the state against the policy.
Representatives of the RWAs alleged the HSVP had sent them notices for excessive amounts by charging hefty interest on the “less conveyed” amount of enhancements that were announced a decade or two decades back and paid by them. “The 40 per cent rebate being offered to us is nothing as the HSVP is already charging four times the amount it actually deserves,” said Baldev Bajaj, president, RWA, Fatehabad.
4,151 units without power: DHBVN; Will the Prime Minister's dream of light be true to every house?
Contrary to the data composed under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana ‘Saubhagya’ claiming 100 per cent household electrification in Hisar district, the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DBVN) has admitted that 4,151 units are still un-electrified (five to 10 ‘dhanis’ in one unit).
The household electrification status progress report, which was compiled in October 2017 after the launch of Saubhagya scheme, indicated that 96.56 per cent houses in state are electrified. The district-wise data uploaded on the Saubhagya.gov.in website revealed that except Mewat (61.78 per cent), Kaithal (83.23 per cent), Yamunanagar (92.51 per cent) and Ambala (99.58 per cent), all the other districts had achieved 100 per cent electrification.
The DHBVN officials claim that ‘dhanis’ were excluded from the household electrification survey as these were neither part of urban nor rural areas. “Dhanis are separate dwelling units located in remote and isolated places,” stated RK Jain, Chief Engineer, Planning Designing and Construction, DHBVN.
He stated the DHBVN was planning to install off grid solar panel system in 4,151 dhanis in the district. “The ‘dhanis’ cannot be connected to the conventional system for electrification. We have submitted the proposal with the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Renewable Energy Department, which are the funding agencies. We are yet to get a response from them,” he said.
However, sources claimed the the number of ‘dhanis’ without electricity was much higher as the power utility had identified clusters of ‘dhanis’ having five to 10 houses in each unit.
“There are thousands of ‘dhanis’ which function as a single household. These ‘dhanis’ are scattered in remote areas of the district. They are forced to live like nomads. Politicians contact us only before the elections. Though we participate in panchayat poll, but these have little role in providing basic facilities like water and electricity”, said Rohtash, who lives in a ‘dhani’ near Kinala village.
Officials admit the situation is grim in Mewat district where over 60,000 households (38.22 per cent) do not have power connection. “The DHBVN has taken up the issue of providing electricity in Mewat and ‘dhanis’ in Hisar with the REC. We will hold awareness camps in ‘dhanis’ urging them to opt for solar power,” he said.
Procurement of wheat breaks last year’s record; Is this the result of the hard work of farmers of Haryana?
Wheat procurement in the state has surpassed last year’s purchase. A total of 84.39 lakhMT wheat has been procured by the state agencies till now against 74.25 lakhMT last year.
While stating this here, a spokesman of the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department said while state agencies had procured over 84.39 lakhMT wheat, the traders had procured 884MT.
Giving details of the wheat procured by government agencies, he said over 33.77 lakhMT had been procured by the Haryana State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Limited (HAFED), whereas Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department had purchased more than 25.33 lakhMT wheat. He said the Food Corporation of India had purchased over 10.32 lakhMT wheat and Haryana Warehousing Corporation over 14.95MT. The spokesman Sirsa district was leading in wheat arrival where over 11.56 lakh MT crop had been procured followed by Karnal district, which recorded 8.99 lakhMT arrival.