//Lawful poppy being diverted: report

Lawful poppy being diverted: report

New Delhi: Notwithstanding strict controls that are in place, some diversion from lawful opium poppy cultivation in India continues to take place leading to its abuse in the form of Heroin or Opium, according to International Narcotics Control Board annual report for 2005.

The INCB report, which was released here today, also took note of the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan "which has given impetus to efforts to combat drug trafficking, particularly along the border between the two countries." "Some of the diverted opium is abused, either as opium or in the form of heroin, in India and some is smuggled into other countries," it said.

"There is a little bit of leakage. There are about 87,000 farmers in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh engaged in opium cultivation in about 8,700 hectares. To exercise this kind of control is not an easy task," Narcotics Control Bureau Director General K C Verma said.

Pointing out that there were lapses, particularly in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, in the control of pharmaceutical preparations containing narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances, the report said it has led to widespread abuse of such preparations among all segments of the population.

"Those pharmaceuticals are generally diverted from domestic distribution channels and are sold without prescription in pharmacies and other retail outlets," it said.

While releasing the report, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Secretary Sarita Prasad said that the 350 NGOs are actively working for the demand reduction of narcotics drugs in the country.