Wind patterns unpredictable, locusts may tilt towards Capital
Experts warn that if wind patterns change, the locusts currently headed to Dausa and Karauli districts in Rajasthan may tilt direction towards Delhi. Swarms of the crop destroying insects entered India on April 11. On Monday, parts of Jaipur were overrun by locusts.
Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the wind patterns have been unpredictable this year on account of the western disturbances over northern India. “At present, the winds in Delhi are blowing from Rajasthan side. This means that the locust attack could hit Delhi. (However) from May 28, the wind pattern might change to easterly,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
“From Jaipur, their current trajectory till Tuesday afternoon was towards Dausa and Karauli districts in Rajasthan. If the wind pattern further changes towards Delhi then these locust swarms may reach the city,” said K L Gurjar, deputy director, Locust Working Organisation.
Senior Delhi government officials said that they are waiting for the final alert from the meteorological department and they are ready to tackle the problem. The swarms are capable of covering a distance of 150 km a day and a swarm that covers an area of a square kilometre can eat as much food as 35,000 people in terms of weight. “The preparations demand insecticides to be spread. But it is to be done in the day time after the locusts are seen in an area,” a senior official in the city government’s agriculture department who did not wish to be named said.