VIJAYAWADA: Under ‘Operation Parivathana’, the Visakhapatnam Rural police along with officials of the Special Enforcement (SEB) Bureau and departments concerned such as forest, revenue, Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) and tribal welfare destroyed ganja plantation in around 80 acres of land at G Madugala in Vizag agency on Saturday.
Following the instructions of Director General of Police (DGP) D Gautam Sawang to take action against the ganja menace in the State with an iron hand, the SEB launched ‘Operation Parivathana’, under which ganja plantations in the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) will be destroyed and awareness programmes will be held to educate villagers explaining the ill effects of consumption of cannabis. Speaking to TNIE, SEB Commissioner Vineet Brijlal said the similar operations will be conducted in all identified villages in the Agency areas and the seized ganja stocks will be destroyed in a phased manner.
He said ‘Operation Parivathana’ will be conducted till November 30. The target is to destroy at least 15,000 acres of ganja plantation in the Agency areas. More than 10 teams, each comprising officials of all the departments concerned, will conduct a comprehensive survey to identify ganja cultivation both physically and using technology such as satellite photographs and drone cameras. The location will be studied thoroughly before the special teams raid the place. “On the other hand, we will coordinate with the community heads and village sarpanches to avoid untoward situations during the operation. At several places, people are voluntarily destroying ganja crop. It is a welcome step,” Vineet Brijlal said.
Meeting with police of southern States on Nov 1
The SEB will conduct a meeting on November 1 (Monday) with police officials of all the southern States — Odisha, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — and other agencies such as Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), intelligence Bureau (IB), ITDA, forest, revenue, tribal welfare departments to evolve strategies and ensure cooperation and information sharing to combat the ganja menace in the agency areas and control smuggling. “ADGP rank officials from all the States, collectors and other agencies will participate in the meeting where we will discuss ways to curb ganja cultivation and smuggling,” Brijlal said.
Ganja seizure this Year
2,050 ganja smuggling cases reported in the State this year so far
270 tonnes of cannabis seized
5,145 persons arrested under under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act
Visakhapatnam district topped the list with 972 cases related to ganja smuggling