India: The Indian state government of Jammu and Kashmir is planning to use UAVs and satellite imagery to survey the state’s remote areas where poppy is being illegally cultivated.
“The State Level Apex Committee (SLAC) for the Prevention of Drugs Trafficking and its cultivation in the state today contemplated the use of satellite and drone imagery for the surveillance of areas where poppy is being grown,” an official spokesman said.
He said that the meeting of SLAC that was chaired by chief secretary B R Sharma also discussed the use of Near Infra-red Spectrophotometer to observe physio-chemical characteristics of drugs.
The Apex Committee reviewed the progress in respect of steps being taken to eradicate the menace of poppy cultivation from the entire state especially the endemic districts of south Kashmir including Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama and districts of Bandipora and Kupwara.
The committee also instructed Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and Jammu, to immediately launch a fresh survey as to the extent of land under poppy cultivation and accordingly update. The Committee held detailed deliberations regarding the need for inter-departmental coordination to effectively deal with drug trafficking and it’s cultivation.
“It has to be an inter-departmental effort involving all stakeholders viz revenue, agriculture, excise, police, social welfare, health and education departments as well as district administration and media to effectively tackle the menace and root it out completely from the state,” the chief secretary said.
The Chief Secretary also said that strict action against those found involved in its cultivation was also needed. He also said that Deputy Commissioners should monitor the process of destruction of poppy crop in their respective jurisdictions and to direct subordinate Revenue officials viz Patwaris, etc to identify and furnish the revenue records of those areas where such crops are cultivated.