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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Locusts still active in Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri

Deepender Deswal amp; Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Hisar/Mahendragarh, July 13

Scattered swarms of locusts continue to be a cause for concern for farmers in certain villages of Bhiwani and Charkhi Dadri. Officials claimed today that Rewari, Sirsa, Mewat, Palwal and Mahendragarh were free from locusts.

Surender Dahiya, Additional Director, Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, also nodal officer for locust management, said a swarm was swirling over Bithan in the Loharu block and Chahar Kalan in the Behal block.

Operations in full swing

We pressed 25 tractor-mounted pumps and five fire tenders into service. The spray was started around 1 am, but had to be halted following strong winds. The operation resumed after two hours and continued till 9 am. — RK Singh, mahendragarh dc

Farmers and officials continued operations as a swarm settled in five Mahendragarh villages last night and caused between 10 per cent and 15 per cent loss to the bajra crop. The authorities claimed to have killed more than 70 per cent of the insects.

"We pressed 25 tractor-mounted pumps and five fire tenders into service. The spray was started around 1 am, but had to be halted following strong winds. The operation resumed after two hours and continued till 9 am. Farmers kept banging utensils and made loud noise to scare the insects away," said RK Singh, Mahendragarh Deputy Commissioner.

He said the swarm moved towards Rewari around 11 am. He said another swarm entered Nangal Sirohi village in the district from Rajasthan in the evening.

He said one more swarm was spotted over border villages of Mahendragarh and Charkhi Dadri. Two teams kept a close watch on the swarms while farmers were asked to reach the fields to stop the insects, he said.

"Since officials have been working round the clock for the past five days, we have devised a new system to divide duty hours. Patwaris and gram sachivs will keep a watch in the day while farm officials will work at night," he added.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Om Prakash Yadav visited locust-affected villages to take stock of the situation.

Interacting with farmers, he said the government would provide adequate quantity of pesticide and give financial aid of Rs 2,500 per day for the use of tractors for spraying.

"Farmers need not worry as their crop loss will be compensated by the state government," he added. Former Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma was present.



from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3iZvdBc

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