Revanth's call for drug crackdown comes as shot in arm for TS-NAB

Hyderabad: Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy’s assurance on Monday that the Telangana State Anti-Narcotics Bureau (TS-NAB) would be strengthened to tackle the drug menace has not come a moment too soon.

The specialised bureau, touted to be the first-of-its-kind in the country, is grappling with staff and logistical shortages. While the government sanctioned 500 personnel, they are yet to be allocated to the bureau, hindering its field operations.

In line with Reddy’s directions, the government on Tuesday appointed outgoing Hyderabad police commissioner Sandeep Shandilya as the full-time director of TS-NAB.

Under TS-NAB, four narcotics police stations and seven regional centres have been created, but except for H-NEW, the one at Hyderabad, no other facility has started operation.

The H-NEW, which was absorbed into the TS-NAB’s Hyderabad unit, is short-staffed, with no full-time field staff or logistics, since its inception in February 2022. It is also functioning from a temporary office.

The TS-NAB was formed in April 2023 and started operating from the Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC) in Banjara Hills.

While DSPs of station house officers and inspectors were also allotted for other police stations and regional centres, staff shortage has left them in limbo, with the teams currently assisting the local police in drug cases, as well as documentation and strengthening the information network.

A senior official said that when Reddy asked them to come up with an action plan for streamlining the bureau and its operations, they sought a few days to submit proposals on allocating manpower, logistics and budget. “We will be submitting the proposals at the earliest and are hoping to take off soon,” the official said.

Data points

TS-NAB since inception:
60 cases filed
180 persons arrested
Rs 9 crore is value of drugs seized

TS-NAB police stations
Hyderabad - Hyderabad commissionerate
Cyberabad - Cyberabad commissionerate and Sangareddy district
Rachakonda - Rachakonda commissionerate, Nalgonda and Suryapet districts
Warangal - Warangal and Khammam commissionerates, Mulugu, Jayashankar Bhupalapally, Mahabubabad and Bhadradri Kothagudem districts.

Regional narcotics cells
7 cells operational
26 enforcement wings
Located in Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Sangareddy, Khammam and Mahbubnagar, and one under the Railways.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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