The locust swarms which attacked parts Gurugram on Saturday reached Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj on Sunday, according to reports. The swarm came to Gurugram from Rajasthan via Rewari, The Times of India said.
Locust Warning Organisation, according to Hindustan Times, has several teams in Rajasthan that are trying to control fresh swarms coming in from Pakistan and Iran. “Control operations have been strengthened at the border to ensure swarms don’t come in,” KL Gurjar, deputy director, Locust Warning Organisation, told Hindustan Times.
Here are five things to know about the locust attack:
1. The Centre, in a statement on Saturday, said swarms were seen in Rajasthan on 26 June and control teams were deployed to eliminate the locusts. The leftover locusts reached Rewari. The locusts regrouped, it added, 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 and from there to Daulatabad, Gurugram, Faridabad and this swarm has also entered Uttar Pradesh and the third group was seen in Palwal (Haryana) and has also moved towards Uttar Pradesh.
2. An alert has been sounded in Bihar. The Bihar Agriculture Department has put on alert eight districts sharing borders with Uttar Pradesh, according to India Today. The report also quoted Bihar Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar as saying that no cases of major damage to crops have been reported so far in any of the state’s districts.
3. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations said in its 27 June update that swarms of locusts are mainly present in Rajasthan, west of Jaipur, but some infestations continue to be reported in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
“At least one small group of immature adults moved north in Uttar Pradesh on 27 June during strong winds, reaching northern districts of Kushingar and Sidharth Nagar where they split up and a few crossed the border to the central lowlands of Nepal near Butwal. These are likely to disperse without causing much harm.”
4. Haryana Agriculture Minister said on Sunday the state government is fully prepared to deal with any locust attack. “We have sufficient stocks of insecticides, pesticides, machinery to deal with locust attacks. Our officials swing into action as soon as these insects settle down on vegetation, trees, soil, etc,” Minister JP Dalal said, PTI reported.
He said the administration managed to eliminate 35% of a swarm of locusts which had entered Rewari around 5 pm on Friday and settled in the villages around Jatusana at night.
“We were apprehending that they will move towards Rohtak and Sonipat, but due to a change in the wind direction they moved towards Gurugram, Delhi and then towards Uttar Pradesh,” he said, according to PTI.
5. Noida is preparing for another possible locust attack. Officials quoted by The Times of India said swarms coming from Gurugram and Faridabad might slow down near Mahmadpur Jatav village of Jewar.