New Delhi: Swarms of locusts have travelled from Gurugram (Gurgaon) and Faridabad and invaded Noida, Delhi’s satellite city on the eastern side. The locust attack has been declared a “disaster” emergency by the Uttar Pradesh government. Also Read - Noida Lockdown News: Offices, Markets to Remain Closed on Weekends, Essential Services Allowed | Check Guidelines
There has been no damage to crops yet, the Noida administration noted, but preparations are at par for another possible attack. Also Read - UP Minister ‘Forcibly’ Gets Houses Painted in Saffron Colour, Residents Lodge FIR
Deputy Director of Agriculture Department in Greater Noida S N Sharma issued an advisory and said that since the Greater Noida border is so close to Faridabad and Gurugram, locusts might enter the area on Sunday. Also Read - Haryana Lockdown News: Shutdown to be Imposed in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat | Check Details
“We have made arrangements and informed villagers. If the locusts stay in the fields anywhere near this area, we will be spraying the chemicals from midnight to 5 AM. A fire brigade vehicle has been deployed there and 31 sprayer-mounted tractors are ready with chemicals,” Chief Development Officer in Noida AK Singh told The Times of India.
Meanwhile, the advisory directed farmers to make high-decibel sound by “beating of drum, utensils, playing a high volume of music system/DJs, firing crackers, burning of neem leaves” to shoo them away. All of this is to be done keeping social distancing protocols in mind, Sharma said in the advisory.
Delhi Air Traffic Control (ATC) had directed pilots of all airlines to take necessary precautions during landing and take-off of aircraft in view of locust swarms seen near the airport in areas along Gurugram-Dwarka Expressway. A team has been set up to monitor the situation.
Swarms of locusts that have crossed over to India from neighbouring Pakistan have been causing havoc in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh ravaging standing crops for over a month now. On Saturday morning, swarms were witnessed in multiple locations in the Gurugram district including at Sector-5, Palam Vihar.