The drug menace seems to have made a comeback on the city streets, even after multiple agencies launching their operations against the peddlers, making big seizures on daily basis. The continuous seizures of large quantities of drugs suggests that there is no end to this menace, and the supply chain which was crippled during the lockdown, is most likely to have been restored to its previous gear. The Mumbai police however suggested that the increase in seizure is due to their special drives against the peddlers.
As per the statistics, drugs worth Rs 12.26 crore was seized since September while the drug seizure for the previous five months between April- August was just Rs 37.56 lakh. The seizure in the last four months has even surpassed last year's figure when drugs worth Rs 4.95 crore were seized during the September to December period.
"During lockdown, all our forces including special units were busy in lockdown enforcement, as the lockdown eased we returned to our specialised task. Currently our special drive is going on due to which there has been a substantial rise in seizures,” said DCP Datta Nalawade of the Anti Narcotics Cell.
During the lockdown period the seizure had come down by almost 98% due to the crippled supply chain and decreased demand. "Most of the drugs come to the city from outside. Cocaine and MDMA also known as ecstasy, a party drug, comes from European countries through passengers movement and through courier services while Charas comes from Jammu Kashmir and from Himachal Pradesh while Chintamani forest in Karnataka is a major source of ganja (cannabis) to the city.
During the lockdown state borders were closed while the air-passengers movement and courier services were limited as well, all these restrictions crippled the drugs supply to the city. A similar trend was witnessed in a couple of months after the lockdown was lifted as restoration of the supply chain took time, said an officer.
There were many other factors for reduction in drugs seizures during the lockdown. Prohibition on social gathering helped in free movement of drugs.
There has been considerable growth reported in the drug seizure by the police as well as the central agencies as well however, we have to consider that the role and sources of city police are limited. As most of the drugs come from outside it is the responsibility of central agencies to curb their movement, added a police official on the request of anonymity.