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Kerala to wipe out cannabis cultivation

Thiruvananthapuram News, 26th May 2005

Kerala, said to be India’s leading producer of cannabis, has set itself a target of one year to wipe out the cultivation of the plant along its border with Tamil Nadu.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said this after he and his team visited an 8,000-acre area with illegal cannabis cultivation on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border near Idukki.

“In a matter of one year we will ensure that the entire cannabis cultivation in the area is destroyed. We have sought the assistance of the Narcotics Control Bureau too,” Chandy told reporters here after a cabinet meeting Wednesday.

“Reports suggest that the best quality cannabis is grown in this area and Kerala is the leading producer of cannabis in the country. This is a social evil and we will do everything to stop it,” said Chandy.

Legislators, police, forest and excise officials and mediamen were part of the team that trekked for four hours through dense forests to reach the cultivation area. They all plucked out cannabis plants and destroyed them in a symbolic gesture.

The government also decided that the 8,000 acres of revenue land that is at present under cannabis cultivation would be transferred to the forest department.

“As the first step, we are transferring 305 acres from the area to the forest department in lieu of transferring 103 acres from the forest area near the Sabarimala temple for developing temple facilities,” said Chandy.

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