After a launching a major crackdown on Red Sandalwood smuggling last week, the Andhra Pradesh Government has sanctioned the use of drones equipped with high resolution cameras to keep watch in the forests against illegal felling of Red Sanders trees. The live feed from the drones will be monitored at a control room from where authorities will direct forest and task force officers to any site where felling or smuggling is detected.
“To increase surveillance on Red Sandalwood smuggling in the state and take stringent action on smugglers, the state government is planning to use drones cameras,” Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said.
During a review meeting on the law and order situation in the state, CM Naidu proposed using both drone cameras and static balloon cameras, which will use unused (TV) spectrum under TV White Spaces Project to keep a vigil on Red Sanders smuggling. In the last 12 days, more than Rs 2 crores worth of red sandalwood was seized at checkposts and at least 50 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu have been arrested by Andhra Police.
Meanwhile, stung by a spate of suicides in college hostels allegedly due to ragging, and to ensure strict action against those involved in ragging in colleges, the Chief Minister has asked the department to include a facility in the Abhayam (android) app, which will enable students to register a complaint through the app.
During the review, the Chief Minister expressed dissatisfaction over the increase in crimes against women, economic offences, cybercrimes and road accidents in the state. However, the total number of crimes between January to July 2015 dropped to 61,670 from 64,242 in the same period last year.
“It is unfortunate that rapes have gone up by 24.4 per cent, economic offences up by 30 per cent, cyber crimes up from 219 to 433 cases and road accidents up from 13,747 to 14,018. This shows that police department hasn’t been able to do its job properly. Vigilance and enforcement has to be stringent. You cannot compromise on the security of citizens,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the police has to create campaigns and make necessary interventions to educate people.
On the other hand, to keep a vigil on criminals, the chief minister asked for computerization of data of crimes in the state. “Integrate the data with their Aadhar numbers and monitor activities of criminals even after their release,” he said, adding that the department has to come out with an action plan (immediate plan, short-term plan and long-term plan) on criminal management system. During the meeting, the Chief Minister gave the nod for 33 per cent reservation for women in civil police.