Haryana department on alert as locusts reach Rajasthan

Sushil Manav
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 26

With locusts entering Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring Rajasthan, the fear of the insect swarms invading Haryana has put the state farmers and the agriculture department officials on high alert.

Districts on alert

Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh and Rewari (alert along dists neighbouring Jaipur and Fazilka)

Voracious pests 

  • Each locust swarm may be spread across several square km with 150 million pests per sq km
  • A small 1 square km swarm can eat same amount of food as 35,000 persons in a day
  • They travel at wind speed and can cover a maximum 150 km per day

The state government had already put seven districts--Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh and Rewari —on alert in view of the repeated invasions by locust swarms from Pakistani side since February. But the threat seems serious this time in view of huge insect swarms gathering over Jaipur, a city merely around 160 km from Mahendragarh.

“Necessary steps for its control have been taken in the districts sharing boundary with Rajasthan and Punjab’s Fazilka,” said Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department. He said sufficient stock of pesticides had been arranged and would be distributed among farmers on 50 per cent subsidy in case of need.

Kaushal said a response team under the department Director General, Vijay Singh Dahiya, had been constituted to coordinate with deputy commissioners, who had been named nodal officers.

Surender Dahiya, department Additional Director and in-charge of response team operations, said the locust swarms were coming from East Africa and entering India via Pakistan.

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