Opium cultivation and addiction has been a serious problem in the state since the last couple of decades with very little done to contain it.
    
In a letter to the deputy commissioners of affected districts of Tirap, Changlang, Longding, Anjaw, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley and Upper Siang, the chief secretary directed them to comply with the agenda strictly, a press release from the CS office said in Itanagar on Monday.
    
Lohit, one of the most affected districts in the state has taken the first step towards preparation of a road map for control, monitor and alternative livelihoods options for those dependent on opium cultivation.
    
Deputy Commissioner BM Mishra in a meeting conducted recently had constituted a 11- member committee with Superintendent of Tax, Excise and Narcotics Oli Koyu as Nodal Officer for preparing the road map.
    
The nodal officer admitted that opium cultivation has become a highly lucrative business for many in the districts of Anjaw and Lohit.
    
He insisted on alternative cropping as well as rehabilitation of addicts to control the further growth of opium cultivation.
    
He said that unless maximum effort is put on alternative source of livelihood, it will be a mammoth task to desist people from growing opium.
    
Used as a traditional medicine to cure illnesses earlier, now it has become not only a source of livelihood but also a favourite form of addiction for thousands of people while the state machinery watches silently.
    
Other than destruction of poppy fields by the Narcotics Control Bureau, based on satellite mapping, so far all efforts have remained in papers alone.
    
The chief secretary meanwhile has suggested state level workshop on the issue of opium cultivation and effective de-addiction measures, the release added.

(Agencies)

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