Hyderabad: Expanding its probe into the organised drug trade, the Telangana Excise department has decided to issue notices to the managements of pubs and bars in the city as part of a sensitisation programme to check the drug menace. The move came in the wake of the directions given by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who asked the police and excise officials to intensify the investigation into the incidents of the illicit drug trade and to make Hyderabad a drug-free city and Telangana a drug-free state.

The state Prohibition and Excise department had busted a racket of selling high-end narcotics like MDMA and LSD earlier this month and has so far arrested 13 persons. The department is also probing the alleged links of certain Tollywood personalities with the drug peddlers, and had issued notices to a total of 11 persons.

According to the official, the notices will be issued to managements of all the 220 bars and pubs in the city, beginning with those located in upmarket areas of Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills. "We are in the process of issuing notices to pubs and bars in Hyderabad city. A meeting will be soon conducted with managements of bars in this regard to sensitise them on the menace of narcotics," Deputy Commissioner (Prohibition and Excise-Hyderabad) Vivekananda Reddy said.

"We will explain to them that no drugs or any other narcotics substances is sold, consumed or exchanged within their premises. They will also be told that punitive action will be initiated against those pubs and bars, if any, which are found to violating the rules," he said.