Ganja plants pop up at isolated places as supply chain is broken- The New Indian Express
Express News Service
KOCHI: As the flow of ganja from other states has been hit due to travel restrictions, instances of growing ganja plants on house compounds and isolated places have come to the notice of the authorities recently.
Excise officials believe anti-social elements and regular users are behind growing ganja plants in small numbers due to the scarcity of the illegal supply from other states.
In recent weeks, Excise officials came across a few cases in which ganja plants were recovered. In two such cases, ganja plants were grown at the cemetery of a church and at an open playground. Excise Deputy Commissioner A S Ranjith said that in most instances, the plants are grown for self-use. “In Mattancherry, we came across a case in which around 15 ganja plants were found at an isolated area of a public ground. The plants were around two months old. In another case, we booked persons who grew ganja plants at a public place. In some cases, ganja plant germinates from the seed left by users. In some cases, people were found growing plants inside their houses in pots,” he said.
According to him, the inspection on roads has been intensified as suppliers started arriving from other states. “During the lockdown, the largest haul was that of 17 kg of ganja. Supply chain of ganja and other drugs was completely cut off due to lockdown. Now as lockdown rules are being relaxed, supply is likely to resume. Hence we will intensify checking. Our squads are in action now,” he said.Railway route is one of the major supply lines of drugs and other banned narcotic substances to Kochi. Once train services resume, the supply chain is likely to be revived.
Illegal brewing still on
Illegal brewing of arrack continues despite liquor shops opening in Ernakulam. Excise officials believe that with brewing at home using pressure cooker becoming popular when liquor shops were closed, several people continue with the illegal act. “Even though liquor shops are open now, we are getting at least one case of illegal brewing at home, daily. Last day we booked a person who was brewing arrack at his house in Kochi. As brewing is very cheap, several people are into it than buying liquor from outlets,” Ranjith.
An official with the prison department said that the major issue is regarding remanding those persons who are arrested in Abkari cases especially for illegal brewing. “During the lockdown period, many people were lodged in jail after being arrested for illegal brewing. However, with Covid-19 cases being reported among remand prisoners, lodging them in jails has become a challenge. Currently, such persons are being lodged at the quarantine facility of the department,” he said.
can’t do without it
Excise officials believe anti-social elements and regular users are behind growing ganja plants in small numbers due to the scarcity of the illegal supply from other states