Threat of locust swarms looms over capital

Locust swarms threatening crops in many states amid the coronavirus crisis have now reached the doors of the national capital

Jun 27, 2020
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New Delhi: Locust swarms threatening crops in many states amid the coronavirus crisis have now reached the doors of the national capital. The locusts swarming areas in Haryana, bordering Delhi, could overrun the capital city any time, an official said on Saturday.

Dr K L Gurjar , Deputy Director, Directorate of Vegetation Conservation, Quarantine and Collection, told IANS that the locusts had reached Haryana for the first time on Friday night and there was an outbreak in areas around Delhi.

He pointed out that the locust swarms are moving towards Palwal in Haryana and could move towards Delhi since they travel in the direction of the wind. Locust swarms can be seen in Gurugram and Rewari in Haryana.

The locust swarms are widespread in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh at this time, while smaller swarms have reached Rohtas in Bihar and Varanasi and Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

After swarms of crop-destroying desert locusts reached the outskirts of Delhi on Saturday, the city government directed the district magistrates to make all possible arrangements to distract them.

People have been directed to keep their doors and windows closed and cover outdoor plants with plastic sheets. The District Magistrates have also been asked to be on high alert.

"District Magistrates are advised to deploy the adequate staff to make all possible arrangements for guiding the residents to distract the locusts," the advisory by agriculture joint director A.P. Saini stated.

The government said that they can be distracted by way of making high decibel sound through beating of drum utensils, playing high volume music on music systems, firing crackers and burning of neem leaves.

Over the past few months, locust swarms have attacked and destroyed crops in various states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Three kilometre-long swarm of desert locusts reached the outskirts of Delhi after entering Gurugram on Saturday morning (IANS)

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