Sharmili Mallick

Malkangiri: Even as police along with excise department is continuing its crackdown on marijuana smuggling in the State, the drug peddlers are devising new ways to transport the cannabis. On Saturday, Malkangiri Police seized 14.47 quintals of ganja (dry cannabis) worth around Rs 2.2 crore while it was being smuggled in a water tanker in Chitrakonda area.

Malkangiri SP Rishikesh D Khilari informed that Police have arrested two persons in this connection and forwarded them to court.

Reportedly, the water tanker smuggling ganja was on its way to Uttar Pradesh from Chitrakonda in the district when a team of Mathili Police Station, engaged in patrolling in the area stopped the vehicle, said the SP.

During checking, the team found the contraband item stuffed inside the vehicle, added Khilari.

Sources said this year a total of 22, 407 kg of ganja have been seized and 201 persons arrested while smuggling the contraband items. This apart, police have also been successful in destroying ganja cultivation spread in acres of land in several districts.

Keeping all this in view, the State government has given special allocation to the Excise and Police departments of nine districts- Malkangiri, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Boudh, Gajapati, Angul and Nayagarh to destroy illegal ganja cultivation.

As per official data, the state government has allocated Rs 62 lakh in 2019-20 and Rs 46.65 lakh in 2018-19.Similarly, 56,75 lakh was earmarked in 2017-18, Rs 58.85 lakh in 2016-17 and 58.71 lakh in 2015-16.

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