New Delhi : The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) has seized a total of 2,724 kilogram of tablets having medicinal use in the three years from 2020 to 2022 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, according to the ministry of home affairs.

The Ministry also said that in the year 2022, it has seized 13.2 lakh bottles of codeine-based cough syrups (CBCS), as compared to 15.31 lakh in 2021 and 10.23 lakh bottles in 2020.

In the year 2022, it has seized tablets of all types weighing 802 kg, while in 2021 it was 1,667 kg and in 2020 it was 255 kg.

The NCB seized 1.72 crore tablets of all types in 2022, as compared to 3.8 crore in 2021 and 4.22 crore in 2020. A total of 91,982 injections were seized in 2022, compared to 1.73 lakh in 2021 and 1.18 lakh injections in 2020.

Around 355 kg of codeine, 2,922 litres of codeine and 1,059 litres of CBCS were seized in 2022, as compared to 660 kg of codeine, 994 litre of codeine and 569 litres of CBCS were seized in the previous year.

In 2022, the Bureau has seized 1001 kg of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, as against 325 kg in 2021 and 841 in 2020. However, anaesthetic drug ketamine seized during 2022 was a meagre three kg compared to a lower one kg in 2021 as against 228 kg in 2020. Morphine in liquid form has not been seized in 2022, while in solid form, 129 kg was seized.

Around 3,800 kg of opium was seized in 2022, as against 5,161 kg in 2021 and 5,097 kg in 2020, said the Ministry.

Minister of state for home affairs, Nityanand Rai in a written reply in Rajya Sabha said that the Government of India has taken various steps to curb drug supply, including those which have medicinal usages.

The Government has introduced the NCORD mechanism in 2016 to have effective coordination of actions among various Ministries, Departments, Central and States Law Enforcement Agencies dealing with narcotics. The mechanism was restructured in 2019 into a 4 tier structure, which includes an Apex Level Committee (headed by Union Home Secretary), an Executive Level Committee (headed by Special Secretary (IS), MHA), a State Level Committee (headed by Chief Secretary of the concerned State) and a District Level Committee (Headed by District Magistrate).

The NCORD mechanism has been further strengthened by addition of new members at different levels to make it more effective and comprehensive, said the Minister.

A Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) was constituted through MHA’s Order dated July 19, 2019 consisting of Central and State Agencies to monitor investigations in case of large seizure of drugs.

A Dedicated Anti-Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) headed by an ADG/IG level Police Officer has been established in each State/Union Territories.

To prevent drug trafficking along border areas various border guarding forces like BSF, SSB and Assam Rifles have been empowered under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 to make interdiction of drugs.

To prevent Inter-State movement of narcotic drugs across the country by railway network, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also been empowered under NDPS Act, 1985 for search, seizure and arrest.

The Government has approved cadre restructuring of NCB with creation of 425 new posts at different levels, Creation of new Regional Offices at Amritsar, Guwahati, Chennai and Ahmedabad and new Zonal Offices at Gorakhpur, Siliguri, Agartala, Itanagar & Raipur to increase NCB’s Pan India presence has also been approved, said the Minister.