Under ‘Operation Parivarthana’, officials in Andhra Pradesh said they are identifying and destroying ganja cultivation with the help of drone cameras and satellite images.

Cannabis plantImage for representation: Pixabay/NickyPe
news Police Sunday, October 31, 2021 - 10:52

In the tribal villages of Visakhapatnam district, ganja plantation spread over nearly 80 acres was destroyed by the police on Saturday, October 30, in a move to tackle ganja cultivation in the state. A month-long program in the name of Operation Parivarthana was started in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, to identify and destroy ganja crops in the state, and to conduct awareness campaigns in those areas. Officials from the police, revenue and forest departments, ITDA (Integrated Tribal Development Agency) and the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) will work together to identify ganja cultivation with the help of satellite images and drones. 

The 80 acres of ganja plantation destroyed on Saturday, the first day of the operation, was spread across several villages of the G Madugula mandal in Visakhapatnam. Similar operations will be conducted in all identified locations in the Agency area, where ganja plantation or stock will be seized and destroyed in a phased manner,  SEB Commissioner Vineet Brijlal told The New Indian Express. Officials aim to destroy at least 15,000 acres of ganja plantation in the Agency areas by November 30, he said. Around 10 teams have been formed with officials of relevant departments to identify areas where ganja is being cultivated. 

Satellite images, GPS and drones are being used to locate ganja plantations, Visakhapatnam Rural Superintendent of Police (SP) B Krishna Rao said, according to The Hindu. Police will also organise “awareness campaigns” in these villages about the “consequences of ganja cultivation,” he said, appealing to people to voluntarily destroy ganja crops and switch to alternative crops. 

Ever since the DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) seized a huge heroin consignment at the Mundra Port in Gujarat, with its GST number belonging to a company registered in Vijayawada, the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has alleged that Andhra Pradesh had turned into a drug hub, raising alarm over drug peddling and consumption in the state. 

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