Andhra Pradesh

Reinforcement measures mooted during ‘lull’

Divisional Forest Officer (Tirupati Wildlife) G. Srinivas leading a combing party in Seshachalam Hills.- FIle Photo  

The forest officials in Chittoor district hope to call in for reinforcement of the patrolling party, cashing in on the lull in smuggling activity in the aftermath of the encounter by the Task Force on Tuesday.

Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, Divisional Forest Officer (Tirupati Wildlife) G. Srinivas observed that the recent encounter of the woodcutters from Tamil Nadu had created a fear among the perpetrators and the strong presence of combing parties in the Seshachalam Hills would force them to take a break from the clandestine operations.

“At present, in all the five vital routes leading to the wildlife division, combing parties have reported no presence of smugglers or workers since the last two days. Five parties, with 20 armed guards each, are combing the area, assisted by 40 digital cameras installed at vulnerable points. We are looking forward to strengthen patrolling further in the vulnerable areas during this lull,” the official said.

Mr. Srinivas deplored that through surveillance of the movement of workers during the past two years revealed that they were using all their intelligence to enter Seshachalam hills.

“From North-western parts of Tamil Nadu, their road routes show that they would first reach Chennai and enter into Nellore district before sneaking into the core belt. Some others from Salem go to Bengaluru and from there again into Chennai and Nellore. Our surveillance on the rail routes also point to their journeys to Guntakal and beyond, before finding ways into the hills. We hope to re-scrutinise all intelligent networking as part of the reinforcement,” he said.

He further said that Tamil Nadu forest officials, particularly posted in the vulnerable north-western areas, had remained cooperative. “They have responded to our requests to spread awareness among the gullible workers to desist the latter from falling prey to smugglers. Our awareness drive led to the total avoidance of workers in RTC buses, forcing them to resort to private buses. We seek more cooperation from the people, who have already started sharing information. We are confident of more positive results in protection of Seshachalam Hills,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 6:11:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/reinforcement-measures-mooted-during-lull/article7091043.ece

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