The Himachal Pradesh High Court has directed the chief secretary to file his personal affidavit in connection with unauthorised constructions, and hotels and commercial establishments operating without statutory sanctions in the state, especially in Kullu district's Kasol village. The court yesterday also directed the director general of police (DGP) to file an action taken report in the matter. A division bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Sandeep Sharma issued these orders on a petition taken up by the court as a PIL on affidavits filed by the Zonal Director, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Chandigarh, in a separate criminal appeal. Also expressing concern over the drug menace, the court said that it was "alarmed by the sizeable increase" in cannabis seizures by the NCB from the state as per details furnished by the bureau. The court also wondered how rave parties were being allowed at Kasol and whether foreign nationals residing in Malana have valid permission or are illegally staying there. "Though the situation in the state is quite alarming, but at present Malana village appears to be the epicentre of the drug menace.
Immediate steps must be taken by agencies concerned," the court observed. It observed that as per reports, there was a organised cultivation of cannabis in the higher reaches of Kullu district and in the Sainj valley. There was also wild growth of cannabis in Chamba, Kangra, Upper Shimla and areas adjoining to Uttrakhand, but the situation in the Kullu-Manali valley is alarming, despite sanction of considerable funds for the destruction of the contraband. The situation is very distressing, the court observed. "The campaigns to destroy (cannabis plants) are merely on paper and nothing has been done on the ground by the NCB or the state police for curbing the drug menace as there are such mind boggling figures with regard to seizure of contrabands by the NCB," the bench said. The court also observed that the NCB was not sufficiently equipped to handle the drug menace. The high court on October 25 had directed the superintendent of police, Kullu, as well as the NCB's zonal director to constitute a task force to raid restaurants, hotels and dhabas in and around Kasol and Malana. The task force was also directed to visit Malana village and ensure complete eradication of the contraband.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)