Kangpokpi tops in cultivation of poppy in state

KANGPOKPI, 4th Oct: With the detection of an upsurge in illicit poppy cultivation in the state in the recent years, Kangpokpi district undesirably occupies the top spot in terms of illicit cultivation of the ‘King of Narcotics’.
As per the PowerPoint presentation made by NAB officials during an awareness programme against illicit Poppy held at Kangpokpi on Friday, illicit poppy cultivations are being carried out in Churachandpur, Chandel/Tengnoupal, Ukhrul/Kamjong, Senapati/Kangpokpi and Imphal East districts.
Among these districts, Senapati and Kangpokpi had a total land area of 1327 acres under poppy cultivation in the year 2018-19. Poppy cultivation in the two districts used to be only in 105 acres of land in 2013-14 while in 2014-15 it was limited to only 15 acres of land.
In 2015-16, poppy cultivation was spread across 124 acres of land which slightly shrunk to 113 acres of land in 2016-17. However, it has witnessed sudden upsurge in 2017-18 when the King of Narcotics was cultivated in an area of 1060 acres of land.
The second highest is Churachandpur with an area of 454 acres of land used for poppy cultivation while the combined districts of Ukhrul and Kamjong was placed in the third slot with a total area of 360 acres said to be utilised for the illegal practice.
Chandel and Tengnoupal districts are in the fourth spot with poppy planted in 240 acres of land in 2018-19.
Imphal East had no record of cultivation of illicit poppy in 2015-16 though official record stated that it used to be cultivated in an area of 17 acres in 2013-14 and 25 acres in 2014-15.
The districts and areas affected by illegal poppy cultivation are Churachandpur (Nabil Range, Kiahlam range, Tuila Upstream, general area of Suankuang village, etc.); Chandel (Chamol, Phaisi, Sajiktampak, Joumoul, Aibol Joupi, Joupi, Mombi, Nakom, etc.); Tengnoupal (Sita junction, Khunjai Ridge, Khoibu centre, SL Zougam, Saivom, Semang, Hengjang, etc.); Ukhrul (Phadang, Somdal, Tuinem, Tora Hill top, Champhung, Thawai Kuki, Mongkot Chepu, Songphel, Lamlai Chingphei, Zaolen Chepu, etc.); Kangpokpi (Nepali Aisan, Somphung, general area of Saikul, Changsang, Koubru Hills, etc.) and Senapati (Senapati Willong hill range, etc.).
Considering the alarming upsurge in illicit poppy cultivation in the district, the District Administration and SP Kangpokpi jointly organised an awareness programme against illicit poppy as an initiative of extension of Manipur Government’s new campaign on the War against illicit drugs at District Police Headquarters, Kangpokpi on Friday.
The event was attended by the DGP LM Khaute, ADGP (L/O) L Kailun, IGP Zone-II L Kipgen, IGP Zone-III K Jayanta, SP NAB W Basu, SP (NCB) A Anth, DFO Kangpokpi Esther L Serto, Post Commander of 38 AR Saikul Capt Rachit Pande, 38 AR post commander (Kangpokpi) Capt Hari, DC Kangpokpi Lalithambigai Kalidas and SP (Kangpokpi) Hemant Pandey.
Around 150 representatives of civil society organisations, Church leaders, village chiefs, members of students’ bodies and representatives from all the villages in the district were also present at the programme.
Delivering the welcome address, DC Lalithambigai re-affirmed commitment of the District Administration to spread awareness on the adverse impacts of illegal poppy cultivation in the district and society at large. The DC conveyed that the district administration will extend all possible assistance to individuals and organisations willing to switch to alternative means of livelihood or in tackling the drug menace.
In his address, DGP Khaute highlighted seriousness of the problem that drugs pose on individual’s health as well as society and stated that the present Government has firm resolve to take suitable actions against those found involved in drug trade or cultivation of poppy plants.
On the other-hand, W Basu explained that illicit poppy cultivation is the root cause for the spike in heroin production in the state. He also highlighted achievement of NAB in the destruction of poppy fields in the state in the last four years.
The SP NAB also warned of the increasing numbers of drug addiction in the state and called upon the participants to contribute their mite in tackling the drug menace.
Esther L Serto also pointed out that there is no such lucrative alternative to replace illicit poppy cultivation but the cultivators must be willing to make sacrifice in the larger interest of the society and future generation to switch to alternative agricultural practice. The event also had an interaction with the participants which was moderated by Lunsieh Kipgen.

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