Vijayawada: Most of the political parties in Tamil Nadu encouraged red sanders smuggling in Andhra Pradesh, said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. He stated that this had been happening since a long time, adding that the notorious red sanders smuggler Veerappan also belonged to Tamil Nadu, during the ongoing two-day District Collectors Conference in Vijayawada on Thursday, during the review on the performance of the Forest Department.
He alleged that the police, and forest officers of AP were in collusion with smugglers and looted public property, i.e. red sanders for decades. He wondered how his own village of Naravaripalle had turned into a red sanders smuggling den. At the same time he faulted the AP officials’ handling of the Tamil Nadu smugglers, which led some controversy, referring to the encounter in the Tirumala forests in which several Tamilians were killed. He said that now the forest officials were doing a good job.
He said that the State government got more than Rs. 700 crore revenue through the auction of red sanders in the first phase. He said that the State would get some revenue through the second phase auction, adding that the Forest Department invited auctions for 200 tonnes.
He said that the State government has about 6,000 tonnes of seized red sanders and can go for further auction later.
“I expected to get revenue of about Rs. 4 lakh crore from the auction of red sanders, but failed due to various reasons, including the failure of officials in auctioning process,” he said.
“We have earned this much amount out of the 10 per cent of the seized smuggled goods. If we could save 100 per cent of the red sanders, then the revenue for the State would be very high,” he said.