Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

JK least benefitted from scheme for drug abuse prevention

Srinagar, Aug 05: Despite increase in drug abuse, Jammu and Kashmir is among the few states having least benefited under a centrally-sponsored scheme for prevention of drug abuse.

The scheme of ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was launched several years ago.

Under this scheme, the centre is providing financial assistance to states for prevention of drug abuse.

Figures reveal that Jammu and Kashmir is one among the states having been least benefited under it.

During 2015-2016, the centre provided finance assistance of Rs 36.15 crore to states. However, J&K received only Rs 4.97 lakh.

Similarly, during 2016-2017, 2017-2018, Rs 46.70 crore and Rs 48.97 crore financial assistance was provided to states, while JK got a share of only Rs 20 lakh during these years.

During 2018-2019, the centre has released Rs 7.62 crore so far and JK has got Rs 20 lakh, while the neighbouring states Punjab and Haryana have been provided Rs 3.39 crore and Rs 2.32 crore, respectively.

Even the smaller states like Assam and Telangana have been provided Rs 4.66 crore and Rs 2.2 crore, respectively, over these years.

Jammu and Kashmir has been provided least financial assistance to prevent drug abuse despite the state is one among the five top states where maximum drug illicit crops are cultivated, as per the figures of Narcotics Control Bureau.

As per Police Department, the most commonly consumed drug in the state is cannabis and opium, which is locally cultivated in both the regions.

As per the police, over 16,900 kg of narcotics including 140 kg of heroin and 374 kg of cannabis items were seized during anti-drug drives in 2017.

Official figures reveal that in 2016, 873 persons were arrested in the state in 607 cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The number increased by over 40 per cent in 2017, as 1,327 persons have been booked under the act in 874 cases.

As per figures by Police Department, Jammu region with 624 cases has witnessed higher drug abuse compared to Kashmir where 350 such cases have been registered by police during 2017.

In Kashmir, Srinagar district has seen more drug abuse as 72 persons have been arrested last year in 48 cases.

DGP Shesh Paul Vaid had called drug abuse “bigger challenge than fighting militancy”.

“Narcotic terrorism is a big challenge to us,” he had said.