Locusts enter Haryana districts; Agriculture Minister says necessary action being taken

DW BUREAU / CHANDIGARH Swarms of locusts have reached Sirsa, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and Mahendragarh districts of Haryana, Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said on Sunday. He said steps have been taken to curb the infestation and adjoining districts have been asked to remain alert. The locusts entered Sirsa, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and Mahendragarh districts on Saturday, with some settling in the fields during the night, Dalal said. He said the agriculture department has deployed fire tenders and tractor-mounted spray guns to kill the insects. "Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has directed deputy commissioners of these and adjoining districts to remain alert," Dalal, who visited the affected areas in Charkhi Dadri, told reporters. He said deputy commissioners (DCs) of the affected districts have been directed to send a preliminary report about the damage caused to crops by the insects. After the reports are received, a special 'girdwari' (revenue survey) will be ordered in areas where the loss is more, he added. Dalal assured farmers that the government would take all necessary measures to control locust infestation in case the insects are spotted in any district and they will be compensated for their losses. In many villages where locusts were spotted, the farmers beat 'thalis' (plates) and other utensils to drive away the insects and protect their crops like cotton and bajra. Dalal reached the Irrigation Department Rest House in Charkhi Dadri's Baund village this morning and was apprised by the DC about the locust attack in the district. The minister directed the officers of the agriculture department to ensure insecticides are sprayed wherever locusts are spotted. He also asked them to constitute a group consisting of four-five people each from 20-25 villages per district so that the administrations can be alerted about any locust infestation in time and necessary measures taken immediately. He added that the state government is making all possible efforts to deal with locusts and there were reports of nearly 50 per cent swarms being eliminated in various districts by using chemical sprays. Dalal also visited Sanwar village and the surrounding areas to take stock of the spraying of insecticides carried out last night. (


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