Striving to develop culture for cleanliness and cannabis free Himachal Pradesh, the state government is prompted to set off of the cleanliness and cannabis eradication drive yet again this year.

The state government having tested the water is already upbeat with the last year’s performance.

Chief Secretary V C Pharka said, “We were scheduled to start the campaign early, however the recent bad weather was an impediment. While, all districts have firmed up to start the cleanliness drive, we are yet to fix the date soon, so that by June end the queen of Hills, Shimla and other places will have a spruced up look ahead of the tourist season.”

He further disclosed that the Town Hall renovation will be completed by June end and the Bantony Castle will also get some facelift from the Rs.180 Crore Asian Development Bank’s funded tourism project for the upliftment of Shimla.

The cleanliness drive will involve cleaning of the surrounding areas, water bodies, road culverts, offices in both urban and rural areas, involving all the government departments, employees, panchyats, mahila mandals, yuvak mandals, NGOs, self help groups and volunteers from various walks of life.

Last year there was an overwhelming response, he said, adding that the basic idea to continue is to develop the habit of cleanliness amongst the masses in general. Informing about the cannabis drive, he said it will continue throughout the year.

In 2016, the cannabis drive was launched on August 22, this year the state government intends to start early, as the time period for the growth of cannabis varies in the low and high altitude regions of the state.

than the police, Narcotics cell and forest officials, panchyats, Mahila Mandals, Yuvak Mandals, NGOs, self help groups and volunteers will also lend impetus to the drive.

Last year over 2 lakh people had volunteered to participate in the drive.

The year 2016, witnessed clearing of cannabis from 17,627.19 bighas of area with uprooting of 3,56,25,530 plants. Highest till date, it was 486.7 per cent more as compared to the previous years. Meanwhile, in 2012 it was 1830.15 bighas, 4,569 bighas in 2013 and 1,639.17 bighas in 2014.