Locust attack: Delhi govt issues advisory, Haryana sounds high alert

A swarm of locusts are seen over a farm at Fatehgarh Salla village near Beawar.. Photo: PTI
The Delhi government on Tuesday issued an advisory on preventive measures to control locust attack in the national capital. It asked authorities to organise awareness among farmers, spraying insecticide and to not let the swarms rest during the night. 

The advisory comes in the backdrop of severe locust attacks being reported from many parts of the country, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

While the national capital has issued an advisory, the neighbouring Haryana issued a high alert in seven districts after locust swarms attacked crops in neighbouring Rajasthan and a few other states, the official said on Thursday. Tractors mounted with chemical sprayers have also been deployed.

Authorities in Haryana said that though the locust swarms have not entered the state, they are maintaining a high alert. "We are ready, seven districts have been put on high alert. We have stocked enough pesticides; insecticides and we have also formed farmers' groups. We have also formed farmers' group even on WhatsApp," Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Sanjeev Kaushal told PTI.

A swarm of locusts are seen over a farm at Fatehgarh Salla village near Beawar.. Photo: PTI

Kaushal said that for quick mobilisation, deputy commissioners are holding daily meetings. A response team headed by senior agriculture department officer Surinder Singh Dahiya has been formed to coordinate with the deputy commissioners. Rabi crops like wheat and pulses are being harvested and there is no crop that is standing in the fields. Cotton is being sown in Sirsa area now, Kaushal said.

After damaging crops in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, swarms of locusts entered Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi district amid what is being described as the worst attack in 26 years.

Overnight operations were carried out by the administration and agriculture department to clear swarms of locusts in Moth and Garautha areas of the district, the official said on Thursday.

A large number of locusts have been eliminated with the spraying of chemicals all through the night but a smaller number of those who survived has moved towards Pariksha near Jhansi on Thursday morning, Deputy Director, Agriculture, Kamal Katiyar, said. Their further movement would depend on the direction of the wind, he added.

After damaging crops in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, swarms of locusts entered Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi .

Locusts had earlier attacked some parts of the Jhansi district on May 22 and 24.

Taking cognizance of the matter, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on Wednesday issued directions to district magistrates of bordering districts of the state to take appropriate measures to deal with the menace. Instructions were issued to DMs of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Agra, Mathura, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakoot, Jalaun, Etawah and Kanpur Dehat.

Agriculture team rushed to Bhandara in Maharashtra

The swarms have moved towards Maharashtra's Gondia district after attacking crops in neighbouring Bhandara, an official said on Thursday. Authorities in Gondia were alerted while pesticides were sprayed on crops and trees at a village in Bhandara which was affected by the pests, he said. An agriculture team rushed to Bhandara in the early hours of Thursday and sprayed pesticides with two fire tenders on trees in a one-km radius in Temani village of the district, divisional joint director of agriculture Ravi Bhosle told PTI.

"When the team reached the area in the early hours, pests were seen on mango, teak, moha, jambhul, ber, and other trees. Pesticides were sprayed and by morning, a large number the crop-eating pests fell from trees and died," he said.

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