Visakhapatnam: The Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) with the support of the police and revenue officials destroyed ganja plants growing in over 5,500 acres under eight mandal limits in Vizag Agency in the past few weeks under Operation Parivarthana.
It may be recalled that the Andhra Pradesh government launched Operation Parivarthana a few weeks ago to create awareness about the consequences of the illegal trade and educate growers on alternative crops.
The joint director of SEB, Vizag, S. Satish Kumar told the media on Saturday that they used 30 machine cutters and other equipment to destroy cannabis plants in 5,500 acres, including in some cut-off areas in Vizag Agency. The locals voluntarily destroyed the ganja plants in over 360 acres in Vizag Agency, he said, and added that according to rough estimates, cannabis is being grown on 12,000 acres in the Vizag region.
Asked about the resistance of the tribal farmers, Mr. Kumar said in some places in Vizag Agency ganja growers had resisted the destruction of the plants but the SEB teams had successfully created awareness among them about the consequences of the trade.
In the past four months, the SEB has seized over 23,000 kg of dry ganja in the Vizag Rural and Urban areas. Over 10 teams, each comprising around 60 to 80 personnel, have been engaged in Operation Parivarthana.