AP plans to auction seized red sanders; state eyes Rs 3000 cr revenue
DECCAN CHRONICLE | AVINASH P SUBRAMANYAM
Tirupati: Eyeing a hefty revenue of Rs 3,000 crore, the AP government is contemplating auctioning of around 5,700 tonnes of seized red sanders logs by inviting global tenders on an electronic platform.
The state has sought necessary approvals from the ministry of environment, forests & climate change for auctioning the seized logs and from the director general of foreign trade for permission to export the sold logs.
The sale of seized red sanders logs cut by smugglers in Seshachalam forests will be done after necessary approvals. The AP forest development corporation is authorized to issue tender notifications targeting potential buyers across the world, especially China. The services of MSTC will be utilized for conducting the sale of RS logs through global e-tender-cum-e-auction.
Only one auction was held in the last few years. That was for the disposal of 318.447 tonnes of red sanders in April last. Currently, there are about 5,700 tonnes of seized wood available for disposal in the godowns of the AP forest department in Tirupati.
"We are preparing a schedule for the e-auction. A notification will be issued and about 5,700 tonnes of ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ grade logs will be auctioned. The seized logs are stored at the central facility in Tirupati, which has eight godowns named after Sri Seshasaila and the seven hills of Lord Venkateswara," an official said.
The former state governments sold 1,251 tonnes of ‘A’ grade logs in 13 phases between 2014-15 and 2018-19 and earned around Rs 505 crore. Apart from the auction in April, logs weighing 8,498 tonnes which include A, B, C grades have been sold out till date and it fetched more than Rs 1,700 crore. The upcoming auction is expected to fetch up to Rs 3,000 crore, if the stock of 5,700 tonnes are sold at the expected price.
Sources said about 800 tonnes of seized ‘A’ grade wood are available for disposal in the godowns. Apart from other grades, there are 1,730 tonnes of ‘B’ grade wood and 2,900 tonnes of ‘C’ grade wood at the central godown. The seized logs stored at the central godown are being protected by APSP Battalion personnel.