Opium Poppy Plantations Worth Rs 28 Crore Destroyed In Odisha’s Similipal After Fresh Crackdown

Baripada: In a fresh operation, excise officials conducted a raid in interior areas of Similipal National Park and tiger reserve in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district and destroyed opium poppy cultivation over several acres of area.

As per reports, over five lakh plants were destroyed during the joint operation carried out by the mobile unit of Mayurbhanj excise division including district-level officials and those from Jashipur and Rairangpur at Saruda village of Astakuan panchayat on Friday night.

Official sources said opium poppy cultivation over at least 15 acres of land was destroyed. The market value of the destroyed crops is estimated at around Rs 10.5 crore.

This was the third time in the last two months that a poppy plantation has been found and destroyed by the forest department.

Earlier, excise officials had carried out raids at seven places in the national park where nearly 6.95 lakh plants worth over Rs 13 crore were burnt. Over 30 acre of forest land have been raided so far, they said.

Opium poppy plantations worth around Rs 28 crore have been found and destroyed in Similipal forests so far.

Officials said that opium poppy farming has been going on in the sanctuary over the years while many locals are under the impression that they are growing poppy seeds.



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