The Chitta economy: How the business of drugs works in Punjab

The distribution networks could be patronised by not only rogue police personnel but also influential politicians
The Economic Times (India)
Saturday, September 1, 2018

In the last few years, while the business and economy in the state kept sliding, the drugs trade flourished. With addicts turning peddlers and several reports of political patronage to the drugs trade, chitta became a veritable business in Punjab. The business of drugs sprawls from the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the farms of rural Punjab and drawing rooms of Ludhiana and Chandigarh, involving a vast variety of actors such as the unemployed rural youth, urban rich brats, spoilt college girls, bored housewives and even cops. Punjab's drug problem is not restricted to the typical demographic of unemployed youth. It is rampant across divides such as class, gender, age and geography. No wonder, the Punjab government recently ordered all its employees to undergo drug tests.