Himachal government is trying to curb the opium cultivation, but the satellite images taken by the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) from the remote areas of Himachal Pradesh showing something opposite to the endeavor. According to the available data, the area of opium cultivation has increased in recent times and the illegal laboratories may convert the opium to heroin.

The NCB has told the state CID that there was not only an increase in the area under the clandestine cultivation but there was definite switch over from cannabis to opium poppy and necessary action should be taken. Following this, the CID had alerted the SPs of Kullu, Mandi, Chamba, Shimla and Sirmaur. These were the districts pinpointed by the NCB. Informed sources here said that a recent report of the US foreign department, while lauding Indian efforts to contain the menace of drugs and psychotropic substances, has also specifically mentioned the shift from cannabis to opium cultivation in the higher reaches of the state, particularly Manali in Kullu district, which they feel could be feeding the underground laboratories to convert it to heroin.

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