Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to use drone cameras in Rayalaseema region to increase surveillance on red sander smuggling, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said on Saturday. Mooting the suggestion during a meeting in Vijayawada to review law and order situation in the state, he said drones cameras or static balloon cameras may be used to keep a vigil on the red sander smuggling. These cameras will use unused (TV) spectrum under TV White Spaces Project.
The state government in recent months intensified its efforts to check red sander smuggling in the districts bordering Tamil Nadu. It stepped up patrolling by special task force in Seshachalam forests. In April this year, the police gunned down 20 wood cutters in the forests in Chittoor district. The wood cutters from Tamil Nadu were allegedly hired by smugglers operating from that state.
Several smugglers have been arrested and red sander worth crores of rupees was seized in last few months. The arrested smugglers include a Chinese national. Also called red sandalwood, the precious wood is used in traditional medicines and woodcraft across China, Myanmar, Japan and other countries of East Asia. A tonne of red sander fetches Rs.20 lakh to Rs.25 lakh in the international market.
On the occasion of Independence Day, the Andhra Pradesh government launched a village volunteers initiative for taking governance to the doorsteps of people by involving over 2.8 lakh village volunteers.
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday announced the launch of the flagship programme at the main official function here to mark Independence Day.
Reddy, who later addressed the village volunteers at another event, said the programme was launched as the villages are backward even after 73 years of achieving independence.
Addressing the gathering after unfurling the national flag, he said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that the fruits of development reach those living in villages.
Under the initiative, the volunteers will act as a bridge between the government and the people. Another 2.66 lakh jobs will be provided by appointing permanent employees in village secretariats to be launched from October 2.
Village secretariats would be set up in each village to deliver governance to people in 72 hours. The scheme involves provision of one volunteer to cover 50 families in each village. Identity cards would be given to the volunteers and they would be paid an honorarium of Rs 5,000 per month.
The volunteers would first identify the beneficiaries, get to know their problems and, thereafter, delineate the appropriate schemes being provided for them by the government.
The Chief Minister said that the schemes would be able to reach the poorest of the poor and make all the villages self-sufficient.
Reddy also said the volunteers would turn out to be leaders once they complete their term. A toll-free telephone number 1902 would be set up at a call centre in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) to receive the grievances of the people.
He said that his government has taken many path-breaking decisions and will resolutely stick to its stand, brushing aside the insipid criticism of detractors.
He defended the legislations that were recently enacted to provide reservation for jobs to locals and reverse tendering.
In his hour-long address, he listed out the path-breaking welfare schemes and legislations that his government has undertaken during last two-and-a-half months.
The Chief Minister said the ‘Navaratnas’ delineated by him in the party manifesto were prepared after he understood the problems of the people during his 3,648 km ‘padayatra’ (march) throughout the state.
Besides, the YSR Rythu Bharosa scheme would be started from October 15 under which electricity would be provided to farmers free of cost and each farmer would get Rs 12,500 per year for the next four years, he added.
Speaking about the Amma Vodi scheme, which would be launched on January 26 next year, the Chief Minister said all mothers would be given Rs 15,000 per year so that they can educate their children without any hassles. (IANS)