From Rajasthan, locust swarms cover a distance of nearly 1,000 km, threaten Prayagraj in UP
The swarms of locusts, which entered western India from Pakistan, has gone further inside with administration in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj (in eastern part of the state) preparing for a possible attack from the migratory pests.
“The swarm of locust flying from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, has reached Uttar Pradesh. District authority and state government are prepared to control the attack of locust and have warned people. We have also trained the farmers about how to save their crops,” said Dr Sunil Kumar Singh, district agriculture officer, Prayagraj.
There are three major regions - Dausa in Rajasthan, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh - where the locusts have attacked predominately.
“The swarm of the locust is expected to spoil the crops and trees of the region to a great extent. In the wake of possible locust attack in the city, we have tested the machines and now we are prepared to deal with it,” said Ajay Kumar Sharma, member of the team preparing to fight the locust attack in Prayagraj.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has asked people to burst firecrackers and beat drums to prevent attacks by locust swarms.
The minister took stock of the situation out of locust attack in his Katol constituency.
Speaking to farmers, he said: “Whenever locust swarms attack, villagers should be alert. Locust attacks can be avoided by bursting firecrackers, the smoke of burning tires or if drums are played.”
Earlier, Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse informed that around 50 per cent locust swarms were killed in the state by the Agriculture Department.
Locust swarms from Pakistan have entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, threatening major damage to standing cotton crops and vegetables, said a spokesperson of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, adding that Rajasthan is the most affected state.
The desert locust is a species of locust, a swarming short-horned grasshopper. They are known to devour everything in their path, posing an unprecedented threat to food supply and livelihoods of millions of people.