Locust swarms attack Delhi NCR

 By Lata Baisoya

New Delhi:  Delhi Labour and Development minister Gopal Rai called an emergency meeting on Saturday over the situation of locust attack in Gurugram and possible locust attack in the National Capital. The minister also directed the administration to be alert towards the locust attack situation. Subsequently, the state agricultural department issued a detailed advisory to three municipal corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council and district magistrates. Administration instructed the forest department to playing DJs, sprinkling medicines, beating drums and dhola against locusts and drive them away near Jasola Bhati region of the state capital. Delhi government monitoring the whole situation of Locust attack and it stated that at present the wind direction was towards south if there was any change in wind direction, probably locust situation would change accordingly.

 

Locust swarm in Gurugram on Saturday morning. Video Credit: Rajnish Kumar

The Haryana government had already issued a high alert in Gurugram district and Rewari after locusts entered in these areas. Haryana government said that all necessary measures had been taken including the deploying tractor mounted spraying facilities. This morning  thousands of locusts were seen covering the sky in Gurugram right next to National Capital Delhi and MG Road and IFFCO Chowk,  DLF Phase I-IV, Village Chakkarpur, Sikandarpur and Sukhrali areas in Gurgaon had been  covered in locust swarms.

On Friday evening, the district administration had asked Gurugram residents to keep their windows and doors shut and make clanging noises by beating utensils as precaution against a locust attack. Administration asked Gurugram farmers to keep their insecticide spray ready so that they can be use when needed.

It may be mentioned that locust swarm was noticed in Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) yesterday morning and control teams were deployed to eliminate the locusts. The leftover locusts regrouped and reached Rewari in Haryana the same evening where control operations were undertaken from yesterday till early today morning. The leftover locusts again regrouped and the swarm divided into three groups, one of which moved towards Gurugram, and from there to Faridabad and onwards to Uttar Pradesh. Another locust swarm moved towards Dwarka in Delhi, from there to Daulatabad, Gurugram, Faridabad and this swarm has also entered U.P. The third group was seen in Palwal (Haryana) and has also moved towards U.P. As of now, no locust swarms are spotted in any city areas.

According to information given by the Ministry of Agriculture, all the groups of locust swarms are being tracked by teams of the State Agriculture Departments of Rajasthan, Haryana and U.P., local administrations and officials of the Central Locust Warning Organization, and control operations are underway. More control teams from Rajasthan have been moved to Haryana and U.P. to help in the locust control operations being carried out in these two states.

The locusts keep flying during day time and settle down only after dark in the evening. Ground control teams are constantly tracking them and will undertake major control operations once they settle down. Control teams in U.P. have been alerted for this.

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