Shivamogga (Karnataka) [India], September 10 (ANI): Smugglers chopped down 150 sandalwood trees belonging to a farmer and decamped with logs from a village in Shivamogga district in Karnataka.
Lokeshwara (69), who purchased 6,000 saplings of sandalwood from the State government in 2013-2014, and planted it in 20 acres of land, demanded a provision for insurance for such high-value crop.
"Within a couple of weeks, smugglers chopped and decamped with nearly 150 trees. I lodged a complaint at the police station but they asked the Forest Department to look into the matter. It is a high-value crop. Sandalwood trees planters should have insurance cover," said Lokeshwara.
As per the State Forest Department, they can assist farmers in finding the culprit, but the protection of the valuable crop is their own responsibility.
"Sandalwood is a valuable tree and the Karnataka Forest Department has been encouraging farmers to grow more sandalwood trees because there is a lot of demand for it. But, we can only assist the farmers in finding the culprits in case of illicit cutting. Protection of the valuable crop is their own responsibility," said GU Shankar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Karnataka Forest Department. (ANI)