Bhubaneswar, Dec 3 (LocalWire) Crackdown on illegal hemp cultivation has intensified in the state with enforcement agencies destroying hemp illegally cultivated in 9,315 acres of are in last two months, officials said on Tuesday.
The winter months are the harvesting season of hemp.
The target for these two months was set at 8,000 acre.
However more than 9,000 acres of hemp plant cultivation has been razed to the ground, crime branch additional director general of police Santosh Kumar Upadhyay said.
Last year, 11,000-acre area of hemp cultivation had been destroyed. We are expecting to carry out the destruction of more plantation area this year, he said.
The satellite imageries were effectively used by the enforcement agencies to locate illegal cultivation of cannabis in remote and hilly areas across the state,, he added.
The demolition drive was mostly undertaken in Kandhamal, Boudh, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Koraput districts, he said.
The ganja cultivation has almost come down in Sambalpur, Deogarh, Angul and Nayagarh districts following constant vigil by enforcing agencies.
The inaccessible and forested regions of five districts- Kandhamal, Boudh, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Koraput districts- have turned into safe haven for ganja cultivation.
As the area is a major left-wing extremism (LWE) hotbed, the ganja producers go ahead with hemp plantation with consummate ease with overt supports from the red ultras.
The hemp producers are accorded protection by ultras against protection money.
The trend has been going on for quite some time as police and excise personnel shy away from venturing into the areas for threat perspective, confided police officials in Malkangiri district.