Monday, 5 July 2010

India making determined effort to curb drugs during CWG

With the Commonwealth Games approaching, the country's anti-narcotics agencies are working overtime to ensure that narcotics and recreational drugs do not pour into Delhi in time for the sporting extravaganza.

Official sources said field units across the country are keeping a hawk eye on known drug cartels for signs of unusual activity especially along the traditional smuggling routes across the India-Pakistan border.

The presence of thousands of athletes and lakhs of additional tourists and spectators in the capital during and after the Games is expected to create a huge demand for recreational drugs and hard drugs. This incentive is expected to spur drug traffickers into hectic activity.

"We are keeping a close watch. Our intelligence officers have been asked to look out for tell-tale signs of increase in narcotics activity," a source said. "As the Games draw closer our surveillance will increase."

He said various agencies like Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Border Security Force and Customs will work together to check narcotics related activity during the games period.

Apart from heroin, the bulk of the demand is expected to be for party drugs like ecstasy and 'Malana cream', a superior variety of marijuana grown in an illicit manner at Malana in Himachal Pradesh's Kulu valley.

Enforcement apart, the agencies are also planning an awareness campaign "to sensitise people about the harmful effects of narcotics, new age drugs and amphetamine-based stimulants that have hit the market," a source said.

India consumed 17 metric tonnes of heroine in 2008 and current opium consumption is estimated at 65-70 mt per year. Most of the consumption is for medical purpose and trafficking has decreased in recent years. The government is trying hard to ensure that no illegal cultivation is done, and areas of Himachal and J&K are on strict vigil.

According to the UN report, cannabis remains the most widely produced and consumed illicit substance globally, but synthetic drugs like amphetamine-type stimulants are now the second most commonly used drug, ahead of cocaine and opiates.


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