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Monday, 13 July 2020

Locusts active in Bhiwani, Mahendergarh

Deepender Deswal amp; Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Hisar/Mahendergarh, July 12

The state authorities have managed to control between 40 per cent and 70 per cent of the locust swarms during the night-long operation in six districts even as two swarms are active in Bhiwani and Mahendragarh.

The swarms are in the process of settling down in Bhiwani's Chahar Kalan and Chahar Khurd villages. Pratap Singh, Deputy Director, Agriculture (DDA), Bhiwani, said they had managed to control nearly 40 per cent of the locusts during the operation.

Dead insects in a village of Hisar district. Tribune Photos

"The swarm in Bhiwani left for the Rajasthan early in the morning, but returned to our region and was in the process of settling down. We will again carry out the operation to eliminate the pest at night," he said. The swarm, 5 km in length and around 4 km in width, was active in the region, he said.

Babulal Varma, DDA, Sirsa, said the swarm in Sirsa district had crossed to Rajasthan's Hanumangarh district with change of wind. "There was no active swarm today. We will assess the loss to crops in Ellenabad," he said.

The Rewari authorities pressed into service eight fire tenders and 35 tractor-mounted spray pumps to tackle locusts atop trees in Maleshiawas village. DC Yashendra Singh claimed 45 per cent of locusts were killed. The insects later moved towards Mahendragarh, with over 10 per cent loss having been reported in the village.

"The swarm eight km in length and five km in width entered Kosli from Mahendragarh district. Farmers on alert rushed to their fields, banged utensils and made noise to scare the insects away. The swarm settled on both sides of the canal in Maleshiawas village," he said.

The swarm moved towards Mahendragarh district and was flying over the villages till the filing of this report. A team led by DDA Jaswinder Singh was chasing them.

Another swarm which entered Mahendragarh villages from Rajasthan settled in Khudana Bas village on Saturday night. The team could not conduct a spray at night as it could have damaged the cotton crop.

"We waited for sunrise to carry out the spray, but it rained in the morning. The spray was conducted for an hour. The locusts moved towards Charkhi Dadri in the afternoon," said Jaswinder Singh, DDA, Narnaul. There was 15 per cent damage to the crop in Khudana Bas and Kheri villages, sources said.

Agriculture Minister Jai Prakash Dalal was present during the operation in Biththan village in Bhiwani last night. He stated that the night-long operation was a success.

"Officials are working in tandem. Farmers need to be alert and make loud sounds to ward off locusts," he said. They would assess the loss and compensate farmers, he added.

The minister they had deployed fire tenders filled with chemicals and tractor-mounted spray guns to kill the insects. "Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed the DCs of affected districts to remain on alert. The government has sought a preliminary report on any loss to crops," he added.

from The Tribune

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