Overnight operations in Jhansi to clear swarms of locusts

Jhansi: Overnight operations were carried out by the administration and agriculture department to clear swarms of locusts in Moth and Garautha areas of the district, official said on Thursday.

A large number of locusts has been eliminated with spraying of chemicals all through the night but a smaller number of those who survived has moved towards Pariksha near Jhansi on Thursday morning, Deputy Director, Agriculture, Kamal Katiyar, said

Their further movement would depend on the direction of the wind, he said.

Senior officials including those from a central team were present during the night-long operation and a close vigil is being maintained on further movement of locusts, Katiyar said.

Two fire brigade vehicles loaded with insecticide had been deployed in all four Jhansi tehsils besides six vehicles were kept ready at the district headquarter. Ten municipal employees with two insecticide spraying machines were posted in every block.

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Locusts had earlier attacked some parts of Jhansi district on May 22 and 24.

Taking cognizance of the matter, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on Wednesday issued directions to district magistrates of bordering districts of the state to take appropriate measures to deal with the menace.

Instructions were issued to DMs of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Agra, Mathura, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakoot, Jalaun, Etawah and Kanpur Dehat.

At the state level, teams have already been formed and control rooms established to track the movement of locusts.

At the district headquarter level, a nodal officer has been appointed, and a task force and control-room already set up.

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Instructions have been issued to officials to list elaborate details about the dangers posed by locusts and precautions need to be taken.

These instructions should be circulated to all officials in districts through social media, and should also be made available to farmers and the common public.

An advisory was also issued to beat drums, tin containers, metal plates and create noise to shoo the locusts in case of an attack.

The officials of the agriculture department have been told to coordinate with members of the Locust Warning Team, locals and farmers.

Instructions have already been issued to take assistance of agriculture universities and pest management centres.

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