The state has witnessed a steep rise in opium addicts, who have been consuming lanced poppy heads (LPH).
In a stark revelation, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report said a test check was conducted of registration records of addicts for a month (July 2010) of a private de-addiction centre in Jodhpur. It was found 339 LPH addicts were registered in the centre for de-addiction.
These addicts did not have permits from state government’s excise department. However, they regularly consumed one to 10 kg LPH every month. The source of poppy heads was not disclosed by these addicts.
Notably, government has allowed the addicts getting treatment in de-addiction centres (rehabs) to take a specific quantity after getting a government licence.
It has been said the enrolment of such a high number of addicts in a month indicated there is a widespread network of illegal trafficking of lanced poppy heads.
LPH is a restricted commodity and can be sold by licenced retailers only to consumers with consumption permits.
It was not only about consumption going unrecorded, the examination also showed 27 retail licences sold 2,232 kg LPH in excess of the quantity of permit-holders sanctioned in a day against the norms in Barmer and Bikaner.
Going against the rules, fake names or names of addicts were repeated in the register highlighting the possibility of illicit trade of poppy heads.
Moreover, the district excise officers (DEOs) failed to provide information about random physical verification of cultivation of poppy heads by July 31.
Also, there was non-adherence to the advice by medical
officers to regulate the quantity of heads for consumption by addicts.
During the test check of permits of addicts renewed by DEOs of Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar, it was observed while medical officers advised for reduction, the permits were renewed without mentioning the quantity.