New Delhi: In the face of an unprecedented threat of an attack but a huge swarm of locusts, the Delhi government has issued an advisory for the farmers as the neighbouring districts of UP, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are infested by the locusts. “As the swarm usually fly in the day time and rest during night time, the locusts should not be allowed to rest during the night,” the advisory on the preventive measures to control locus attack in the NCT of Delhi said.Also Read - Locust Attack in Haryana: Swarms Back, Efforts Stepped up to Control Crop Damage
1. After damaging crops in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, swarms of locusts entered Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi district Wednesday and could head towards Maharashtra’s Ramtek city. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus, Locust Attack And India-China Tension Here is Why MS Dhoni is Trending on Twitter
2. Since the insects are not finding enough food to survive, they are moving to other areas with the help of strong winds. According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Director General Trilochan Mohapatra, the insects have attacked about 40,000 hectares of land. Also Read - Terror Strikes Another Village: Swarms of Locusts Attack Trees, Crops in Uttar Pradesh
3. But there is no impact on rabi crops like wheat, pulses and oilseeds as most of them are harvested by now.
4. In Maharashtra, the swarms, stretching up to 17 km, had first entered farms in Nagpur district’s Katol and Wardha’s Ashti taluka on Saturday night and Sunday, damaging the orange crop and vegetable plantations.
5. The current attack began last month when swarms entered Rajasthan from Pakistan and then spread to other western states. About half of Rajasthan’s districts have been affected to some extent.
6. The Centre has placed an order for buying 60 spraying machines from UK-based company Micron, and two firms have been finalised for the supply of drones for aerial spraying of insecticides for effective control over tall trees and inaccessible areas.
7. There are active swarms of “immature locust” in 8 districts in Rajasthan (Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar and Jaipur) and 7 districts in Madhya Pradesh (Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas, Agar Malwa).
8. The immature locust is very active and their mobility makes it difficult to control the swarm at one location and it takes 4 to 5 days of control at different locations to control a particular locust swarm.
9. At present, 89 fire brigades for pesticide spray, 120 survey vehicles, 47 control vehicles with spray equipment and 810 tractor-mounted sprayers have been deployed for effective locust control, as per requirement on different days.
10. The civil aviation ministry has also given permission to deploy drones for locust control.
(With Agency Inputs)