The AP government is already finding newer ways of tackling the menace and has virtually deployed an army of security personnel to guard the state's treasure.
The static balloon cameras will be positioned in the Seshachalam forests of Chitoor, Kadapa and Nellore regions. This will help the police keep a 24/7 vigil on the activities of the smugglers and in turn will help nab them easily.
Huge losses reported:
The AP government as per an estimate prepared states that in the past three years alone, the state has lost 40,000 crore worth of red sandalwood. This is around 40,000 metric tones of wood that has been smuggled.
The loss is huge when compared to what the state has earned from the e-auction of the logs in the past one year. According to statistics, the state has earned only Rs 1,000 crore through the auction.
The police have in all registered around 12,700 cases. The police have however managed to arrest 19,852 persons and impound 7,300 vehicles being used to smuggle the precious wood.
The AP police recently arrested Hasan a mastermind of the racket from New Delhi. He had stocked up red sandalwood logs in a go-down in Delhi and was planning to shift it to Nepal and China.
Hasan according to the investigations was a go in between for the smugglers in AP and the international operators.
Chief Minister of AP, Chandrababu Naidu has decided to focus more on the issue and while suggesting the use of either drones or static balloon cameras, he has also directed the police to step up the vigil.
Technology will be deployed in all possible ways to ensure that the menace is curbed, the AP government has decided.