Hyderabad, Mar 26 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Forests and Environment Minister S Vijayarama Raju today said 1,096 people were arrested for smuggling red sanders and 310 tonnes of sanders wood worth Rs 14 crore were seized during 2007-08 in the state.
Replying to a debate on prevention of smuggling of forest produce, raised by Congress MLC S K Hussain in the Council, Mr Raju said the total number of cases booked in 2007-08 was 1,113 as against 869 in 2006-07. About 486 vehicles were seized and two persons booked under the Public Disclosure Act.
Stating that the government was taking several steps to curb the smuggling of forest produce, he said 11 forests department officials and 21 state police department officials were suspended for assisting the smugglers to transport the wood from Nellore, Kadapa and Chittor districts.
The minister said that to prevent smuggling, the government had taken many steps, including strengthening of the Forests Department by sanctioning more than 6,000 posts under different categories.
UNI AP VA SJ VD BD1455