Kadapa: The forest officials here are more vigilant now against the Red Sandal smugglers. The communication system that they have developed is helpful to be vigilant in the deep forest. All the base camps in Lankamala and Seshachalam Forest are connected with roads.
Recently, the Red Sandal smugglers have increased their activities in the forest. Three cars, four bikes and 14 red sandal logs were seized and four smugglers were arrested in Sanipaya Range recently and another four smugglers were missed.
In an incident at Rollamadugu in Rajampeta mandal, two smugglers were arrested on Sunday. The Forest Officers seized four red sander logs from them. A vehicle and four logs were seized on Sunday evening from Siddavatam forest range.
District forest conservator M. Sivaprasad IFS, while speaking to DC, said that their departmental staff members are very much vigilant in the forest. “We have provided all amenities at the forest base camps and the communication system has also been developed. In the 17 base camps that are working in the forest, wireless communication systems are provided. If any incident is identified by the staff, they will inform it immediately to the nearest Range Office and it will reach the district headquarters also,” he said.
“At every forest base camp, there will be five protection watchers and one beat officer will be deputed and all of them will be fully armed,” he said. “The Range Officers will have .22 mm revolver and the Beat Officers will carry 12 bore pump action guns,” he said.
“The Base Camp staff, particularly the protection watchers, will shift from camp to camp once in every week or every 15 days,” he said.
Base Camp staff, in the deep forest, will take in all the amenities they need. Range Officers and other staff regularly visits the base camps 24x7. It helps us to make the forest staff more vigilant, he said. He asked the Protection Watchers and Beat Officers not to try for an attack if the staff are less in camp. In view of previous experiences, we are alerting the base camp staff, he said.
Recently, the Forest Department constructed a 18-kilometre Road in Siddavatam range Lankamala Forest.
The conservator said that it was helping them to reach the deep forest that has thick red sandal trees. “We have observed in view of the recent incidents that the smugglers’ activities have been gradually rising,” he said. “All our Range officers have been alerted about these incidents and we have to be more vigilant,” he said.
“Recently we have introduced one system. It is used to locate all the places in the forest,” he said.
“We will fix some Global Positioning system coordinates and send it to the officers concerned in the forest watch. They will have to go there and take a photo graph and make a report of the trees that are there in that area and send it to the Headquarters. It will help us to know the entire forest,” he said....