Illegal poppy farming in Sambalpur

Sambalpur: The remote forests in Redhakhol and Nakti Deula areas in Sambalpur district have turned into heavens for illegal poppy cultivators. Strangely, many a farmer have even shunned traditional farming preferring instead to grow poppy for the mafia.

Poppy plants (Cannavis Indica) have been grown on large tracts of land inside the forests mostly in inaccessible and remote parts. The vast magnitude of poppy cultivation drives one to confuse as to whether it is not just ganja cultivation but ganja forests. The ganja growers dry up the plants after flowering and then in a routine manner stuffed into packets. The entire process is done in the forests in the most clandestine manner. Not just male members even females are engaged in the lucrative trade.

OTV camera team encountered two poppy growers who provided details about the trade. Investigations revealed that the packets are mostly smuggled out to Chhattisgarh by road. The mafia provide guns to the couriers for safe transportation of the contraband item. The excise superintendent of Sambalpur, Dushashan Nayak said, “No, we often conduct raids and destroy poppy plants. If it has been going on once again then we will move against them." However, the administration must wake up early for it might create severe law and order problem.