Several Indian states reeling from locusts attack: All you need to know | India News

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May 29, 2020

NEW DELHI: Civic workers sprayed gallons of insecticide and farmers beat ‘thalis’ and played loud music in several areas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to drive away swarms of locusts amid their worst invasion in years, reports said.
Authorities in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka too sounded alerts Thursday to the possibility of locusts entering their territories even as UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned that the pests could reach as far east as Bihar and Odisha in the coming weeks.

Here are the developments from various states
1

Uttar Pradesh

  • Taking cognisance of the matter, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had on Wednesday issued directions to district magistrates of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Agra, Mathura, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakoot, Jalaun, Etawah and Kanpur Dehat.
  • At the state-level, teams have already been formed and control rooms established to track the movement of locusts. At the district headquarter level, a nodal officer has been appointed, and a task force and control room already set up.
  • Officials have been instructed to list elaborate details of the danger posed by locusts and precautions that need to be taken, and sharing them through social media, and making them available to farmers and locals.
  • Overnight operations were carried out by the authorities to clear swarms of locusts in Moth and Garautha areas of Jhansi, and in Sonbhadra district.
  • An advisory was also issued to beat drums, tin containers, metal plates and create noise to shoo the locusts in case of an attack. Officials of the Agriculture Department have been told to coordinate with members of the locust warning team, locals and farmers.
2

Madhya Pradesh

  • Swarms of locusts crossed into Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh from eastern Maharashtra on Thursday afternoon.
  • The swarms then crossed the Bavanthadi river and reached Balaghat district.
3

Punjab

  • Punjab has been put on alert after swarms of locusts attacked crops in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Farmers have been asked to keep an eye out for any locust activity.
  • Control rooms have been set up in each district and farmers have been asked to report any activity of locusts, he said.
  • The state government has sanctioned a sum of Rs 1 crore for containing locust attacks.
  • A detailed action plan to check the invasion of locust swarms has been prepared by the state agriculture department.
  • As part of the plan, agriculture officers have been asked to maintain strict vigil in their respective areas. Surveys will be conducted, especially in areas bordering Pakistan and Rajasthan.
  • Notably, locusts were spotted in some villages of Punjab’s Fazilka and Muktsar districts in January this year but they were effectively contained.
4

Maharashtra

  • Around 50 per cent of locust swarms were killed in the state by the agriculture department.
  • Meanwhile, local administration in Bhandara sprayed disinfectant to fight locust attack and locals beat drums to drive away the insects.
  • DB Undirwade, head of the department of entomology of Panjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University in Akola, said he was seeing locust swarms in the state for the first time in last 20 years.
  • The state agriculture department on Thursday claimed that 66,000 farmers were alerted and asked to report if they saw a locust attack.
5

Telangana

  • Authorities in Telangana on Thursday sounded an alert in the districts bordering Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh to prevent the entry of locust swarms into the state.
  • Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao directed the officials to take all the precautions to avert entry of locust swarms as he reviewed the situation at a meeting with ministers and senior officials here.
  • The government said all the District Collectors, and police officials on the borders with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh were alerted, and fire engines, jetting machines, and pesticides were put in place.
  • It also constituted a five-member committee to keep a tab on the movement of locust swarms and to monitor measures to prevent them from entering the state.
  • Officials were asked to keep 15,000 litres of pesticides like Malathion, Chloropyrifos, Lambda Cyhalothrin ready on the Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh borders. They were also directed to keep 12 fire engines, and 12 jetting machines ready.
6

Rajasthan

  • The swarms entered Rajasthan last month from Pakistan and then spread to areas across the western states, helped by strong winds.
  • About 90,000 hectares in 20 Rajasthan districts are affected by the locust attack
  • Swarms moved from Sri Ganganagar, Nagaur, Jaipur, Dausa, Karauli and Swai Madhopur districts towards Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the official said.
  • The state administration carried out locust control operations over 67,000 hectares in Rajasthan.
7

Delhi

  • The Delhi government has asked authorities concerned to spray insecticides and pesticides on crops and vegetation to prevent a probable desert locust attack, with city Development Minister Gopal Rai saying an awareness campaign would be run over the issue.
  • Rai, in a tweet on Thursday, said the government has also issued an advisory informing people about insecticides and pesticides which can be sprayed on standing crops, vegetation, gardens and orchards to guard them from locusts.
  • The authorities have been asked to carry out spraying of pesticides chlorpyrifos and malathion.
  • Also, Delhi’s forest department is considering covering the saplings in its nurseries with polythene to protect them against the desert locust attack.
8

Haryana

  • Some districts of Haryana including Sirsa, Hisar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and Rewari are bracing for an invasion by locust swarms.
  • A huge swarm of locusts reached Jaipur in Rajasthan and now the threat looms over Haryana.
  • “We have put several districts on alert. We have also instructed all the farmers that if they encounter any swarms then they should inform the government so that we can kill them,” Haryana Agriculture Minister Jayaprakash Dalal said.
  • “We have procured an ample amount of chemicals to kill the locusts. All the District Collectors have been informed about the threat. Pakistan did not inform us on time so that we could take action. This time the threat is very serious,” he added.
9

Himachal Pradesh

  • A high alert has been issued in Kangra, Una, Bilaspur and Solan districts.
  • The field functionaries have been alerted to keep the continuous and constant vigilance on locust activity and get ready to control any emergency situation.
  • Farmers have been asked to report any activity of locusts to nearby agriculture officers.
  • All the field officers have been directed to create awareness among the farmers regarding the locust attack.
  • Bio-Control Laboratory, Kangra and Mandi have been directed to prepare Metarhizium and Beauveria bio-insecticides at their full capacities.
10

Andhra Pradesh

  • Swarms of locusts on Thursday hit Dasappa Road, Rayadurga in Anantapuram district, destroying plants of farmers.
  • Locals said that the locusts ate all leaves and flowers of plants.


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