Imphal: Churachandpur district administration and the Kuki Chiefs’ Association, Churachandpur organised ‘Awareness Programme Against Poppy Cultivation’ at Kholmun community hall on Wednesday.
The programme was organised under Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan.
To cope with the menace of drugs and reported rampant poppy cultivation in the district, the awareness programme was organised to dissuade and seek the cooperation of the village chiefs to end poppy cultivation, said additional deputy commissioner Thangboi Gangte.
Ringing the alarm bell over poppy cultivation and the menace associated with it, Thangboi Gangte called upon all concerned to contribute their might towards making a drug-free state and encouraged farmers to switch over to alternative livelihoods.
District agriculture officer Ginzalian emphasised the havocs that could be wreaked by rampant poppy cultivation including environmental and health hazard due to uncontrolled use of chemicals and pesticides and soil degradation. He suggested maize cultivation and piggery as viable alternatives to poppy.
Additional superintendent of police Hasby Haokip said since raw materials are easily available locally, reports about the presence of drug (brown sugar) factory in the district have started to surface. And in turn, the number of drug abusers may increase due to easy availability of drugs. It will result in gradual rise in the numbers of law and order problems, she said.
Hasby said the rising cases of ‘gang fights’ reported at different places during the past months is inextricably linked with drug abuse. Although such incidents might seem petty social problem, it has the potential to spark a flare-up in a multi-ethnic places like Churachandpur, she cautioned.