Huge haul of red sanders

Staff Reporter

The smuggling attempts are a pointer to the growing murky activities

TIRUPATI: Gone are the days when the precious red sander logs are smuggled to Chennai from inaccessible locations situated deep inside the woods. The daring smuggling attempt at the outskirts of Tirupati on Saturday is a pointer to the growing murky activities in the vicinity of the temple city.

The forest department's Chittoor East division seized 1,768 kg of red sander logs along with a lorry at Cotton Mill on Renigunta road, hardly six kilometres from Tirupati.

On being tipped off about the clandestine operation, the DFO T.V. Subba Reddy and Sub-Divisional Forest Officer B. Ravikumar rushed a team to the spot, where the lorry speeding away from Chintalachenu towards Tirupati was intercepted.

The sleuths found 60 logs in the vehicle, weighing 1,768 kg and estimated to worth Rs.3 lakh, even as the driver fled the scene.

Other incidents

In another incident near a restaurant between Chittoor and Palamaner on the Bangalore highway, a four-wheeler, escorted by a two-wheeler, sped past a forest surveillance team, which was ultimately overtaken. 22 logs weighing 566 kg and worth Rs.1.5 lakhs were found in the vehicle.

In a surprise catch, the same team on its way to Tirupati, found a vehicle suspiciously parked near Ithepalle and found stacked in it 16 logs weighing 555 kg and worth Rs.1.5 lakhs. The mobile party section officer N. Balakrishna Reddy led the team.