Andhra to auction seized red sandalwood
THE CENTRAL government has permitted Andhra Pradesh to auction half of its stock of seized red sandalwood through global tenders. The state has over 8,550 tonnes of the wood seized from smugglers since 2002. Red sanders is an endangered tree species found only in the forests of Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh and its sale is controlled by the Centre. The tree has huge demand in countries like China and Japan for medicines, furniture, musical instruments and sculpture. A tonne of red sanders costs more than ` 25 lakh in the global market. India has a big network of red sanders smugglers who are increasingly attacking forest officials in Andhra Pradesh.