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Poppy plant field destroyed in Manipur
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 18
Published on 18 Apr. 2010 11:50 PM IST
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Poppy plants extending over 550 hectare of land were destroyed in Manipur during the current year till date, said an official of the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), Imphal adding that during the same period 2292 kg of ganja were seized and eliminated by the bureau.
Poppies are cultivated to be used as ornamental garden while some species are sources of drugs and foods. However, in Manipur it is grown for export to neighbouring Myanmar for manufacturing Heroin (No.4).
Cultivation of poppy plant is banned in Manipur under Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985, said the official adding that village chiefs where villagers grow poppy plants could also be booked under section 47 and 48 of the same act.
With the discovery of mass scale growing of poppy plant in the jhum fields in interior villages of hill districts like Ukhrul, Chandel and Churachandpur district, elimination drives were conducted by both government agencies and non-governmental organisation particularly, volunteers of the All Manipur Anti-Drug Association (AMADA). However, many of the fields could not be destroyed due to late discovery and difficulty in reaching the villages.
Out of the total of 550 hectare of jhum fields growing poppy plants destroyed by the bureau, 500 hectare were found in cultivating fields across Ukhrul district while the remaining 50 hectare of fields were in different parts of Churachandpur district, the official said.
According to the official, farmer harvest around 22 kg of opium from an acre of field and sell Rs 800 per Khaini container (Khaini tin) fetching about Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per acre of land.
Meanwhile, officials have detected poppy plants cultivated in mass scale located around 18 km away from Shaji village under Machi block of interior Chandel district.
NCB had detected 2292 kg of ganja during the last four months from to Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39.
Despite having a good number of security and police check posts, the stretch of the highway is considered to be the main route for trafficking ganja from Manipur outside the state.

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