Red Sanders, aka red sandalwood is a tree that is valued for the rich red color of its wood. It has extensive demand in China and over the years, there has been extensive smuggling from Andhra Pradesh to China.
Ever since the TDP government came to power two years ago, there has been a significant crackdown on the smuggling activity and the state, as of now, holds 6,095 tonnes of red sanders seized from the smugglers.
With a visit to China coming up soon, the Chief Minster Chandrababu Naidu held a review meeting on red sanders and other plantation programmes with Forest department officials asked them to open a depot in China to market red sanders; to bring a lot of revenue to the state.
“Use technology to ensure transparency in the auction process. Create a market so that more revenue is accrued from the auction and fix the prices in tune with demand-supply,” said the tech-savvy CM, and added “Use drones to protect the woods and geotag the trees. Categorise the seized wood and preserve it.”
Turning a threat into an opportunity and making the most of it by apt usage of technology is something that Mr. Naidu has shown again and again.