Locust control operations carried out in around 3 lakh hectares area in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Bihar

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New Delhi: Starting from 11th April, 2020 till 12th July, 2020, control operations have been done in 1,60,658hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs). Till 12thJuly, 2020, control operations have been done in 1,36,781hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Bihar by State Governments.

In the intervening night of 12th-13th July, 2020; control operations were carried out at 26 places in 7 districts viz.Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Alwar of Rajasthan, 1 place in Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh and at 2 places in Mahendragarh and Bhiwani districts of Haryana by LCOs. Besides this, respective State Agriculture Department/s also carried out control operations at 2 places in the districts of Bhiwani and Mahendragarh in Haryana and 2 places in the districts of Sitapur and Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, in the intervening night of 12th-13th July, 2020 against small groups and scattered population of locusts.

Presently 60 control teams with spray vehicles are deputed /deployed in State of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and more than 200 Central Government personnel are engaged in locust control operations. In addition, 20 spray equipments have been received and are deployed for locust control. To strengthen the control capacity, 55 additional vehicles have also been purchased and deployed for locust control.

Further, 5 companies with 15 drones are deployed at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Phalodi in Rajasthan for effective control of locusts on tall trees and in inaccessible areas through spraying of pesticides. A Bell helicopter has been deployed in Rajasthan for use in Scheduled Desert Area as per the need. Indian Air Force also has conducted trials in anti-locust operation by using a Mi-17 helicopter.

No significant crop losses have been reported in the States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan

Swarms of immature pink locusts and adult yellow locusts were active in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jhunjhunu, SriganganagarAlwar and Churu districts of Rajasthan; Bhiwani, and Mahendragarh districts of Haryana and Sitapur and Gonda districts of Uttar Pradesh .

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