Tribune News Service
Hisar/Mahendragarh, July 28
The district administrations of Hisar, Sirsa and Bhiwani continue to battle swarms of locusts from Rajasthan. On Tuesday, locusts were spotted in Gawar and Basra villages in Hisar district; Jhuppa, Gurera and Khera villages in Bhiwani district; and Chopta and adjoining region in Sirsa district.
The task force of the district administrations has been on their toes to kill the swarms.
Agricultural officials say the swarms, active in the Rajasthan region along the border, crossed over to Haryana with the change in the wind direction.
The swarm was spotted in Jhuppa village on Monday. It was killed during a night operation. Three more swarms were spotted on Tuesday at Gurera, Jhuppa and Khera village in Siwani region of Bhiwani district, said Pratap Singh, Deputy Director (Agriculture).
“We have formed task force teams, comprising officials from the Departments of Agriculture, Revenue and Panchayat. They have taken positions at three locations for the night operation. A tractor-mounted spray and firefighters have also been deployed. We hope to kill the swarms tonight when they settle in the fields,” he said.
In Hisar’s Basra village, sarpanch Santa Singh said, “The swarm was three-km long. Teams of the district administration and farmers banged utensils to scare locusts away.”
In the Chopta area of Sirsa district, the task force has been waiting for the swarm to settle. Deputy Director (Agriculture) Babu Lal Varma said the district witnessed the third locust attack on Tuesday morning.
Op ‘The Barefoot’ launched
The swarm, two km in length, kept swirling over villages in Mahendragarh, Rewari and Jhajjar districts throughout the day, forcing farmers to bang utensils. Officials, too, chased the swarm and monitored their movement closely.
Locusts were spotted over the fields of Naugama, Sasrauli, Bihrod and Jhamri village in Jhajjar district.
In Mahendragarh, officials led by Kanina SDM Ranbir Singh launched an operation named “The Barefoot” to kill locusts settled in fields and on roadside trees of Bagot and Ucchat villages.
“The operation was kicked off at 11.30 pm on Monday. Our team managed to kill more than 60 per centof pests. The rest of the locusts moved towardsKosli (Rewari) on Tuesday,” Mahendragarh Deputy Commissioner RK Singh said.
Officials in Rewari swung into action on getting information about the entry of locusts in their district. They, too, kept close tabs on the pests in Kosli area and alerted farmers who beat utensils and played music to stop insects from settling in their fields. They managed to scare the locusts away.
Inder Singh, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Jhajjar, told The Tribune the swarm entered Salhavaas block from Kosli. It moved back towards Kosli after swirling over Dhania, Salhawas, Amboli, Jatwara, Dharauli, Jaipur villages in the afternoon. “The administration has made arrangements to kill locusts if they settle in the fields,” he added.
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