Officials from Andhra Pradesh's Prohibition and Excise Department on Tuesday destroyed 7,814 kg of ganja that was seized from 62 raids conducted in East and West Godavari districts.
The officials burnt a large amount of the dry crop, in the presence of state's Excise Minister KS Jawahar, Prohibition and Excise Commissioner Dr P Lakshmi Narasimhan, East Godavari Deputy Commissioner B Aruna Rao and West Godavari Deputy Commissioner Y B Bhaskara Rao among others.
Speaking to reporters, the Minister said that the government was determined to make the state 'ganja free' and warned people against cultivating the crop.
He also said that close to 1.7 crore ganja plants had already been destroyed in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts.
The seized crop was ordered to be destroyed under Section 52-A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act, 1985, reports added.
The NDPS Act criminalises possession, trade, transport and consumption of cannabis, among other narcotic and psychotropic substances.
Ganja is grown on a large scale in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam, and officials suspect that a lot of Maoists are involved in cultivation of the plant, and use the money gained from its sale, for their activities.
Since taking office in 2014, Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has ordered police officials to take strict action against people indulging in ganja cultivation.
Last year, then Roads and Buildings Minister Ayyanna Patrudu alleged that officials knew the people who were cultivating the plant and demanded that strict action be taken against them.
"Who exports it? Through whom does it get exported? Who are the big guns in this? How is this going to Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad? Itâ€™s an open secret among all the departments," he said, speaking to the local media in Visakhapatnam.