BHUPALPALLY: The rampant smuggling of teak wood in the district is, undoubtedly, posing a grave threat to its forest cover. The intensity of the issue can be gauged by the frequent seizures of vehicles transporting the logs and arrests of smugglers.
In the last six months alone, the forest officials seized 40 vehicles transporting teak wood logs in the district. In fact, at one instance, they had even seized a tractor transporting teak worth `78 lakh.
Recently, on a single day, the forest officials seized teak wood logs from three villages in the district, including 17 teak wood logs from a field hidden under the water in Chiruthapalli village in Venkatapuram mandal of the district.
While the total geographical area of the Bhupalpally district is 6,17,500 hectares, the forest cover is spread across 4,73,487 acres, which is approximately 76.60 percent of the total area. It is important to note that the district has the highest area of forest in the State.
However, there has been a depletion of forest cover in both the Bhupalpally forest division and the Tadvai division. About 110 hectares and 126 hectares of forest has been cleared in the divisions respectively. In other words, rampant deforestation, especially the chopping down of teak wood, has affected the forest cover adversely.