|Explained: Logs Of Blood
There is huge demand overseas, especially in China and Japan, where Red Sanders furniture and other items are status symbols.
Written by Sreenivas Janyala |
Indian Express, Updated: April 8, 2015
What is Red Sanders?
Sanders, botanical name Pterocarpus santalinus, is a non-fragrant
variety of sandalwood that mostly grows in rocky, hilly regions.
Saplings reach 8 to 10 m in 3-4 years, but growth slows down after
that. The trunks are slender, and it takes at least 20-25 years for the
tree’s beautiful, deep red wood to be of use. Andhra Pradesh forest
department officials say this particular type of Red Sanders grows
nowhere else in the world.
Where exactly does it grow?
the thorny scrub/dry deciduous forests of the central Deccan, between
500 ft and 3000 ft. Geographically, only in a small pocket roughly
5,200 sq km in the Palakonda and Seshachalam hills in the districts of
Kadapa and Chittoor, in some contiguous areas of Anantapur district, in
the Nallamalla forests in Kurnool and Prakasam, and in parts of Nellore
district. Some contiguous patches in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka see some
Why is it coveted?
There is very little
supply. Red Sanders is a fast disappearing species restricted to a tiny
geographical area. Felling is illegal, export is highly restricted.
Permission is required to fell and sell even trees in private farms.
But there is big demand overseas, especially in China and Japan, where
Red Sanders furniture, chess sets and musical instruments are status
symbols. In the black market, a tonne of Red Sanders fetches between Rs
15 lakh and Rs 30 lakh depending on its quality (Grade A, B, or C).
How is the trade controlled?