HYDERABAD: More than 13,000 metric tonnes red sanders wood have been seized in Andhra Pradesh as part of efforts to curb illegal cutting and transportation of red sanders in the state, the AP Legislative Assembly was informed here today.
"13,004.42 metric tonnes of red sanders have been seized, 12,573 cases have been booked, 7,354 vehicles have been seized and 19,852 people have been arrested for involvement in illegal cutting and transporation of red sanders in the state," the state's Minister for Forests, Environment, Science and Technology said in a written reply to a question in the AP assembly.
The reply stated that 12 armed mobile teams and 19 observation posts with 40 CCTVs cameras have been deployed. A special task force has been established to curb organised red sanders smuggling and an amendment to the AP Forest Act, 1967 was also proposed, as a deterrent against illegal cutting and smuggling of red sanders trees, the reply stated.
Red sanders is a rare red sandal wood that grows mainly in Chittoor and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh. It's smuggling is rampant in view of its medicinal and other uses.