HYDERABAD: Hardening its stance on red sanders smuggling, the state government has decided to bring in an ordinance to make red sanders smuggling a non-bailable offence besides increasing the imprisonment period up to seven years for the offenders.
Disclosing this to newsmen after the Cabinet meeting here on Wednesday, IT minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy and municipal administration minister P Narayana said the Cabinet had decided to make red sanders’ smuggling a serious offence and punish the people involved in it severely.
According to Raghunatha Reddy, the Cabinet had decided to hand out not less than five years imprisonment and Rs 3 lakh penalty for first time offenders and not less than seven years imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh penalty for second time offenders.
“We are going to take on red sanders smugglers head on and see that they are totally wiped out from our State. It is the duty of the government to protect forest properties. We would take all measures including punishing them stringently to protect red sanders,” he said.
Giving details of the steps taken by the government to check smuggling of red sanders, the IT minister said from 2002
to 2014, 12,300 cases were registered and 18,703 people were arrested. Forty cases were registered under the Preventive Detention (PD) Act and 12,868 tonne of red sanders and 7,220 vehicles were seized.
He said between 2002 and 2015 about 40,000 tonne of red sanders, worth Rs 40,000 cr in the international market, has been illegally cut in the state.
He said the Cabinet had decided to make other forest offences punishable with three months imprisonment and Rs 5,000 penalty for first time offenders and one year imprisonment and Rs 30,000 penalty for second time offenders.
- Cabinet gives nod to ordinance to make red sanders law tougher
- Forest officials to be empowered to confiscate properties of red sanders’ smugglers and seize the assets of those carrying logs with them illegally
- Illegal cutting of red sanders to become a non-bailable offence
- Increase in penalty and jail term for smuggling of red sanders.
- Cabinet okays proposal to dig a 1,500-km trench around the forest covering Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool, Prakasm and Nellore districts to check smuggling of red sanders