Bhubaneswar: The excise and police officials have destroyed 46.97 lakh hemp plants across Odisha last year, said an official.
The anti-hemp cultivation drive was taken in 10 districts.
About 46,97,166 hemp plants cultivated on 791 acres of land has been destroyed till December last year while 36,74, 104 hemp plants were destroyed during the same period the previous year.
While the highest of 33,90,000 hemp plants were destroyed in Kandhamal district, 5,27,300 plants were destroyed in Angul followed by Gajapati (5,14,000), Rayagada (1,92,000), Malkangiri (71,050), Deogarh (2,216) and Cuttack (600).
Police said the Maoists are luring people in tribal dominated districts to cultivate the cash crops.
The excise and police officials have registered 255 cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act during 2014-15. Similarly, 360 such cases were registered in last fiscal and about 200 till September last year. While 249 people were arrested in 2014-15, the annual figure rose to 370 last year.