A Chandigarh Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) report suggests that the availability of the Afghan heroin in Punjab has declined over eight years, thanks to extra border security in both India and Pakistan.
Compiled a month ago, the report says heroin became popular because of new affordability riding on higher incomes. Extra supply is being pushed in from the illicit opium fields of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
After a bumper opium crop in Bengal, the opium-and-heroin trade to Delhi and Punjab has started via Uttar Pradesh. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested four people from Malda and Birbhum and struck another big haul at Barabanki in Bengal.
Indian-made crude heroin is coming into Punjab from the eastern states. Delhi-based west Africans have been arrested with shipments. The methamphetamine, ecstasy, and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) seized in the Himachal Pradesh resorts of Kasol and Manali came from Goa and Nepal. The cocaine supply route is traced to south and East Africa. Africans are bringing in the drug via courier service.
Police crackdown on drug smugglers and traders has intensified in the past three years. The high-risk behaviour of jail inmates has been controlled and drug networks busted in prisons.
The NCB report says new devices such as infra-red sensors and laser beam have plugged the gaps in border security in the Gurdaspur sector.
There are now more men on the border and eight new NCB investigating officers in Chandigarh.
The deployment of more Rangers by Pakistan to secure its borders has also helped control drug smuggling.