Officials told to trace kingpins in red sanders smuggling


Tirupati: Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police SV Rajasekhara Babu inaugurated the new office of exclusive Task Force on the premises of Divisional...

Tirupati: Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police SV Rajasekhara Babu inaugurated the new office of exclusive Task Force on the premises of Divisional Forest Office near Kapila Theertham temple on Friday. Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Murali Krishna and forest staff attended the programme. After setting up of this exclusive Task Force to curb the smuggling of red sanders two months ago in Tirupati, an exclusive office with sufficient staff, logistics and vehicles was inaugurated on Friday after overcoming the constraints.

The Additional PCCF and Urban SP held a review meeting over curbing of red sanders smuggling and the performance achieved by the task force in the last two months. All officials like conservator of forests, divisional forest officers, forest range officers and section officers took part in the meeting.

Due to lapses in building coordination between the forest and task force wings, the two higher officials reviewed the situation like problems in sharing of information, lack of preparedness of a few staff, while conducting combing operations and claiming the credit for the arrest of wood cutters. Both the higher officials were said to be unhappy with lack of coordination and complaints on each other. At last, the urban SP divided work between the forest and police departments for better results. He instructed the task force to concentrate mainly on getting intelligence reports from time to time about the middlemen and kingpins of red sanders smuggling. He instructed the officials to trace out the kingpins with the information received from the arrested wood cutters, especially by going to the villages in Tamil Nadu from where the wood cutters are coming to Seshachala forest to fell the red sanders trees.
The SP also instructed the forest staff to continue combing operations in the dense forest with the help of armed police personnel. He assured to allot a few more armed policemen in addition to the existing 26 special party policemen. He also clarified that ten armed policemen will come from Chittoor and another ten from other sources to join the combing operations.
The Additional PCCF mainly concentrated on building the coordination between these two departments and stressed the common task and team work. In fact, the Task Force was facing problems like no permanent office, shortage of staff, equipment like computers, mobile phones and vehicles. But with the joint efforts of police and forest departments at last a permanent office and five vehicles with all electronic equipment was provided to the Task Force.
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