**Bhubaneswar:** The State Police today held a multi-departmental meeting to review the situation of ‘Ganaja’ (cannabis) cultivation in different parts of Odisha.
Senior officials of Police, Narcotics Control Bureau, Excise, Revenue, Forest department and scientists from Odisha Space Applications Centre (ORSAC), discussed on ways and means to prevent and destruct ganja and poppy cultivation.
During the last season ganja cultivation (2017-18) was destructed on 4,600 acres of land. This is a record in terms of area of ganja cultivation destroyed in Odisha in any year so far, DG Police Dr RP Sharma said.
Earlier the destruction of the banned substance’ cultivation was being done in 2500 to 3000 acres of land. This year in 2018, the Police headquarters has set stiff targets for all districts for enforcement on ganja cultivation, Dr Sharma said.
Total 67,300 KGs of ganja has been intercepted while it was being trafficking in the past nine months (January-September) in 2018. Total 115 vehicles have been seized and 660 smugglers have been arrested during the raids.
“During 2017-18 the maximum enforcement was done in Kandhamal and Gajapati districts. Though there are reports of large scale ganja cultivation in Malkangiri district, the enforcement has been checked due to security reasons,” Dr Sharma added.
“In the ‘Swabhimaan’ (cut-off) areas of Malkangiri district, a large population has taken up ganja cultivation as a source of livelihood. So, in order to check this we will need to look into alternative sources for their livelihood,” the DGP added.