Vijayawada: Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has advised officials to initiate stern steps against the marijuana cultivation and transportation and carry out regular police raids in coordination with other departments Officials have also been asked to conduct awareness programmes against drugs in universities and colleges. Special focus should be on the colleges where such drugs cases have surfaced, he said, adding there should be regular drugs-related checks on campuses of universities and colleges.
Jagan was holding a review meeting on the performance of the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB). He asked officials to lay special focus on drug menace and conduct awareness programmes in universities and colleges against drugs. There should be constant supervision over universities and colleges on the use of drugs, he said, and called for an action plan to be implemented across the state on this matter.
As for liquor consumption, the CM said the government had increased alcohol prices to reduce the consumption. Some one-third of the outlets were closed and belt shops and permit rooms removed across the state. Liquor sales have dropped from 34 lakh cases per month to 21 lakh cases and beer sales fell from 17 lakh cases to 7 lakh. He called for stringent action against bootlegging.
On sand-related matters, the CM said action should be taken if sand is sold at prices higher than the prescribed rates. The toll-free number of SEB should be widely circulated. Immediate action must be taken against the culprits. Officials should undertake a campaign in all districts, clearly mentioning the prices. There is also the need to increase the number of reaches and sand depots.
The officials informed the CM that so far 1,20,822 cases of alcohol smuggling and manufacturing have been registered and 1,25,202 persons arrested. In 2020, almost 63,310 cases had been booked; and in 2021, nearly 57,512 cases. Similarly, 8,30,910 litres of illicit liquor, 8,07,644 litres of country-made liquor, 2,30,48,401 litres of jaggery wash were seized and destroyed. Also, 29,491 vehicles were seized.
While SEB registered 74,311 cases, police registered 46,511 cases.
The officials said, as for sand smuggling, 2,211 cases are registered, 5,72,372 tonnes of sand seized, 16,365 vehicles are impounded and 22,769 culprits arrested.
Some 18,686kg of ganja was seized, 220 cases were registered and 384 persons arrested. Between March 20-31 this year, under operation New Savera, 69 cases were registered and 174 people arrested, besides seizing 2176 kg of marijuana. Some 330 awareness camps have been organised.
The review meeting was attended by DGP Gautam Sawang, Planning and Resource Mobilisation Special CS Sameer Sharma, revenue special PS Rajat Bhargav, SEB commissioner Vineeth Brijlal, finance secretary SS Rawat, Intelligence chief Rajendranath Reddy and SEB director (special units) Ramesh Reddy.