Locusts return to Bhopal, spotted over secretariat and CM’s house
Desert locusts returned to Madhya Pradesh’s (MP) capital, Bhopal, on Tuesday, as the swarm of insects were spotted in several areas in the city, including near the state secretariat and chief minister’s official residence, two days after they were first sighted in June, state agriculture department officials said.
“A swarm of desert locusts spread over more than a kilometre entered Bhopal from the neighbouring Sehore district at about 9am on Tuesday. The insects were seen hovering over the Bhopal-Indore highway. Initially, they were spotted in Bairagarh area and later moved towards Einthkhedi and Mugalia Chaaps and also the CM’s official residence and the state secretariat around noon,” said SN Sonaniya, deputy director in the state agriculture department.
“Fire tenders sprayed water to shoo away the invading desert locusts, as insecticides couldn’t have been used in these densely populated areas. The insects made way for the neighbouring Raisen district later in the day,” he added.
Earlier, two separate groups of desert locusts were spotted in Bhopal for the first time this year in mid-May, when they had entered MP’s Kolar Road and Bairasia from Rajasthan.
Curious Bhopal residents shot videos of swarms of desert locusts hovering over Bhopal on Sunday and Tuesday on their smartphones and posted them on social media.
Agriculture department officials said over 35 districts in MP have been affected by the invading desert locusts, as the insects have destroyed vegetables and lentils.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
Fifteen students had a narrow escape after their school bus skidded into a waterlogged open drain in Daulat Singhwala village in Phabat area of Zirakpur. The bus, which was ferrying students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula, was making way for another school bus when it skidded into the overflowing drain. The bus tilted in the drain, but passersby and parents were able to rescue the children through the driver's window.
Tricity residents woke up to heavy rainfall for the second time this month on Wednesday. Three people went missing after a taxi, shuttling two commuters, was swept away in a flashflood in the Patiala-Ki-Rao rivulet as the driver attempted to cross the causeway in Tanda Village near Nayagaon. The owner of the vehicle, Rakesh Kumar told the police that Gaurav had called him saying two people, travelling to Baddi, had booked his cab.
Chandigarh received 97mm rainfall between 6am and 8.30am, the heaviest rain in July since 2017, as per the India Meteorological Department. It received another 0.9mm of rainfall during the day. The maximum precipitation till 8.30am was recorded at the Sector 39 observatory (97mm), 49.2mm rain was recorded at the airport observatory, 77.5mm rain in Panchkula and 74.5 mm rain in Mohali.