Drug addict-free Naya Pakistan!

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The Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) government on Friday planned seven new projects to provide better social welfare and rehabilitation services to the under-privileged and neglected groups of the society.

The government plans to construct shelter homes and drug addict rehabilitation centers in Peshawar which would be completed with an estimated cost of Rs 58.500 million.

Drug addicts would be provided social welfare and rehabilitation services under one roof, regardless of any political affiliation, said an official of the Social Welfare Department.

Of the total amount allocated for this purpose, Rs 20 million would be spent in fiscal year 2013-14, he said.

The rehabilitation of drug addicts was a big challenge for the government, and collective efforts were needed to tackle the problem on emergency basis, said the official.

He added the government planned to purchase land for the establishment of a special education school with special-teacher training facility in Swat at a cost of Rs 20 million.

He said the government was making hectic efforts to prevent drug addiction at community level for which close coordination and collaboration with other sectors and stakeholders was needed, besides the cooperation of the general public and intelligentsia.

The construction of a building for a special education institute in Haripur was also on the cards and work on the project would start in the current fiscal year, he said. This project was included in Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2013-2014 with an allocation of Rs 42 million of which Rs 10 million would be spent in fiscal year 2013-2014.

The official said other projects, including the construction of an access road from the main highway to a social welfare complex at Chakdara, Lower Dir with an allocation of Rs 6 million, building of a social welfare complex at Bannu costing Rs 45 million, construction of a boundary wall around social welfare complex in Abbottabad costing Rs 3 million and the establishment of a welfare home at Buner for Rs 35 million, would soon be launched.

The government would spend a total of Rs 209.5 million on the new projects, he added.

According to the National Survey on Drug Abuse 1993, there were more than four million chronic drug addicts in the country, while in KP the estimated number of drug addicts was about 0.6 million,71 percent of whom were under 35 years of age, the official highlighted.