Five armed reserve police personnel will be deployed at forest check-posts

Five armed reserve police personnel will be attached to each divisional forest officer for deployment at forest check posts and base camps to curb the smuggling of red sanders from Kadapa district, District Collector K. Sasidhar and SP G.V.G. Ashok Kumar said on Wednesday.

Briefing newsmen after the Forest Protection Committee meeting in the State guesthouse here, the Collector called on people’s representatives to cooperate with government officials in checking the plundering of red sanders in Kadapa district.

The SP promised full cooperation in preventing the recurrence of attacks on forest officials, providing forces to curb red sander smuggling and ensure that forest officials and the police worked in tandem. Forest officials will also take part in the district-level crime review meetings from hereafter.

The Collector told forest officials to strive to ensure that more of the accused in smuggling cases were convicted.

The DFOs were directed to register criminal cases against erring departmental personnel, Mr. Sasidhar said.

He directed filing of appeals in cases where the accused were not convicted. The police and forest officials should jointly monitor the situation on a daily basis, he said. He wanted red sander trees grown in places where they had been felled earlier.

CCTV cameras to be installed

The Collector said he would forward proposals to the Chief Secretary to sanction additional posts and fill vacancies in the Forest Department to ease workload and increase vigil. He directed forest officials to install IP-based CCTV cameras in forest check-posts within a fortnight.

The Transport Department was told to check the movement of vehicles plying without valid documents.

Some more forest land will be allotted to the wildlife sanctuary in Badvel, Mr. Sasidhar said. Revenue and forest officials should jointly examine the cases and create awareness among people to not assist smugglers.

The committee will conduct a quarterly review, he said. A pathway will be formed to the Polathala and Nityapoojakona temples, the Collector said.

The SP said a task force would be constituted to nab persons felling red sander trees and raids conducted on villages known for red sanders smuggling. Vigil will be maintained on the pathways used to enter and leave the forests.

Joint Collector K. Nirmala, Assistant Collector Prasanna Venkatesh, Kadapa, Proddatur and Rajampet DFOs Nagaraju, Sivasankar Reddy and Bhaskar Raju, Kadapa RDO D. Haritha, Probationary Assistant Conservator of Forests Krishnapriya, sub-divisional forest officers Venkatesh and Srinivasa Rao and forest settlement officer Lavanna participated.