Andhra Pradesh

Lay special focus on drug menace: CM Jagan

VIJAYAWADA: Stating that the State government is committed to prevent smuggling of liquor and sand and had even brought new laws to deal with them, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed officials to use them effectively and deal with the menace with an iron hand.The Chief Minister held a review meeting on the performance of the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) and directed the officials to lay special focus on drug menace, and conduct awareness programmes in universities and colleges against drugs.

During the review, the Chief Minister said that there should be constant supervision in universities and colleges and instructed the authorities to prepare an action plan to be implemented across the State. He told the officials to take stringent action and curb cultivation and transportation of marijuana by carrying out regular raids. He said that the government had increased the alcohol prices to control the consumption.

Almost one-third of the liquor outlets were closed and belt shops and permit rooms were removed across the State. “With the measures taken by the government, liquor sales have dropped from 34 lakh cases per month to 21 lakh cases and beer sales have fallen from 17 lakh cases per month to 7 lakh cases,’’ Jagan said and instructed the officials to take stringent action against those responsible for illegal liquor trafficking.

The Chief Minister said that action should be taken if sand is sold at a higher price than the prescribed rates, and the toll-free number of the SEB should be well publicised. He directed the authorities to take immediate action against the culprits based on the complaints and advised them to run a campaign in each district, clearly mentioning the prices in that particular district. The officials were told to increase the number of reaches and sand depots.

DGP Gautam Sawang, Planning and Resource Mobilisation Special CS Dr Sameer Sharma, Revenue Special Chief Secretary Rajat Bhargav, SEB Commissioner Vineeth Brijlal and other officials were present.