Amid shutdown, bang cultivation on rise in south Kashmir

SHOPIAN: The continuous shutdown has led to rise in bang cultivation in south Kashmir as administration have halted the destruction drive, with experts saying that uncertainty has led this trade to flourish.
The police, excise and revenue officials has started bung destruction drives in the month of July which would be ending in October. But due to the ongoing situation, most of the parts remained unreachable, and it is believed that there would be rise in marijuana collection in south Kashmir.
According to official data, a fresh anti-bung drive has been started in district Shopian, and under this drive, around 160 kanals of land was destroyed in Melhura. Melhura area is an infamous area for bung cultivation.
An official from excise department said that during the fresh drive, cultivated bung was destroyed and it would continue in other areas.
A teacher, Showkat Ahmad, said that when drives were not conducted and there was closure of schools and colleges, more youth would have been addicted to drugs due to easy availability.
People in many areas south Kashmir are cultivating bung in apple orchard, paddy and maze farms. Those involved in this cultivation, according to locals, are using fertilisers to get a good harvest.
According to revenue official, most of the bung is being cultivated in areas situated alongside river Jhelum.

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