Swarms of locusts that entered Rajasthan last month have started to other western and northwestern states, damaging crops and agricultural livelihood after Rajasthan.
Till now, five states - Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh are affected by the locust attack. It is said to be the worst locust attack in 27 years.
Preparing for effective locust control: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed that locust control operations have been stepped up in affected states to combat the menace.
“89 fire brigades for pesticide spray; 120 survey vehicles; 47 control vehicles with spray equipment and 810 tractor-mounted sprayers have been deployed for effective locust control, as per requirement during different days,” the ministry said.
Locust containment measures and sprinkling operations have been conducted in 303 locations spread over more than 47,000 hectares till 27th May in 20 districts of Rajasthan, nine in Madhya Pradesh, two in Gujarat and one each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, sources in the Agriculture Ministry said.
Delhi government issues advisory
Meanwhile, the Delhi government on Thursday issued an advisory on preventive measures to control a probable locust attack in the national capital.
It called for organizing awareness programs for the public/farmers to prevent/control the probable attack of swarms of locusts in the national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi.
It said that since the swarms usually fly during the day and rest at night, they should not be allowed to rest.
“Concerned authorities may carry out spraying of insecticide/pesticide as per need during the night,” the advisory by the Development Commissioner of Delhi said.
Delhi labor minister Gopal Rai also convened a meeting at his residence to discuss preparations to meet the locust threat, ANI reported.
The Centre has also pitched in to help states battle the locust attack that can lay to waste agriculture fields.