Minister for Forests and Environment S. Vijayarama Raju said that the government had initiated several stringent measures to tackle the growing menace of smuggling of red sandalwood in the State.

Talking to mediapersons on Wednesday, Raju said that the government was determined to contain the smuggling of the precious wood which was in great demand in the international market and in the process also set up base camps at several vital points with the help of people belonging to the local girijan community.

Further, he said that the forest personnel are not only being provided with required weapons but also have been instructed to register cases under PD Act.

Dwelling further, he said that the government was also seriously contemplating disposing the piled up stock of seized red sanders. Statistics reveal that the department at present is burdened with over 10,000 tonnes of seized redwood in the State.

Meanwhile, correspondence is also under progress in securing essential clearances from the Union government for clearing the piled-up stock by way of inviting tenders.

Earlier, Mr. Vijayarama Raju offered prayers at the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara.