New Delhi: Locust swarms were seen descending in the Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra on Tuesday, sending a stern warning to the central watchdog for another potential attack weeks after the grasshopper outbreak took over Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Also Read - 'Indian eCommerce is Different': Twitter Left in Splits After Flipkart's Hilarious Response to Man's 'Mandir ke Saamne Phone Lagana' Address
Centre’s Locust Warning Organization said it will press into service 25 drones and buy 60 more vehicle-mounted insecticide spraying machines to counter the attack of locust swarms in the near future. Also Read - COVID-19 Cases in India See Biggest Jump of Nearly 25,000; Total Tally Rises Above 7.6 Lakh | Key Points
Authorities are worried that millions of locusts may enter India again along with monsoon winds from the Arabian Sea to destroy kharif crops. Also Read - Maharashtra COVID Tally: 6603 Fresh Cases, 198 Deaths in 24 Hours; Total Infections at 223724
“The locust swarms may attack in late June and early July. There is every possibility that locust swarms will come towards India from African countries along with monsoon winds rising from the Arabian Sea,” said K L Gurjar, Deputy Director of the Faridabad-based Locust Warning Organisation (LWO).
The summer and rainy weather is reportedly favourable for the locusts to reproduce and multiply in number and they move from one place to another during this time, travelling nearly 150 km in a day.
The swarms entered Rajasthan in April from Pakistan, where it had migrated from Iran last year. The migratory pests then started spreading to areas across the western states, slowly entering the Vidharba region on eastern Maharashtra, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, helped by strong winds.
While the country is already struggling to get back on its feet amid the coronavirus lockdown, a locust infestation could cause further devastation to the agri-economy.