HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao declared an all-out war against illegal drugs on Wednesday, and called upon officials to make Telangana a 'drug-free state'.
However, the enforcement wing of the excise department is helpless in the matter of checking drug abuse and drug trafficking in the absence of manpower.
Official sources said the department faces a dearth of full-time excise sub-inspectors to undertake raids, book cases, make arrests and investigate drug cases. Most of the incumbent SIs have been working on an ad-hoc basis due to which they have no powers to book and investigate drug-related cases.
Even excise SIs who were promoted to higher levels after serving for more than three years in the same positions, were not given higher postings, forcing them to work on an ad-hoc basis in the same posts.
As many as 68 officials were promoted in May/June of whom only 12 have got postings. No fresh appointments could be taken up at the excise SIs level.
The government selected 280 SIs through Group-2 direct recruitment last year but they are yet to be given regular postings. More bizarre is that 87 of them are still confined to TS Excise Academy, which imparts training to personnel selected in recruitment exams.
Although, for the sake of record, there are over 400 excise SIs, a majority are without any powers as they are working on an ad-hoc basis.
Official sources pointed that unless the enforcement wing boasts of a full-fledged staff, it's difficult to achieve the goal of making Telangana a drug-free state.