Imphal, Jan 16: Manipur government has started using drones to spray herbicides to destroy poppy plants in the interior hill ranges of the state.
“We have started deploying drones to destroy poppy plantations. More such missions to be carried out in all the areas where poppy is being cultivated”, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said in a Facebook post on Monday.
The state government had recently procured three drones capable of spraying herbicides for the purpose.
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The state government took the decision to use drones in the destruction of poppy plants after large scale poppy plantations were found in the interior hill ranges during an aerial survey conducted recently.
Manipur Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister, L Susindro, accompanied by some top officials of the state government, conducted the aerial survey using a helicopter last Friday.
During the aerial survey, poppy plants were found extensively in the interior areas of Chandel, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts.
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The state government had also decided to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in searching poppy cultivation fields in the interior hill ranges.
The state government recently purchased UAV drones to use in geo-mapping purposes. These UAV drones will also be used in searching the poppy fields, an official source said.
In Manipur, police in collaboration with Forest department and respective district administrations have been conducting poppy plant destruction drives in hill districts in full-swing.
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