'Haryana prepared against locust swarms attack'

Haryana Chief Secretary directs district administrations to take steps if locust swarms enter state

Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora on Friday directed the Agriculture department and district administrations to take all necessary precautions in advance to tackle any potential attack of locust swarms in the state.

The chief secretary gave the directions while presiding over a review meeting regarding monitoring and control of locusts in Haryana with officers of the Agriculture department and other concerned departments here, an official statement said.

During the meeting, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Sanjeev Kaushal shared that Haryana has also been put on high alert after insect attacks have been reported in neighbouring Rajasthan.

Special supervision teams have been constituted to tackle the situation and spread the awareness about the same across the state, Kaushal said.

Further to control the locust attack, adequate stock of pesticides have been made available through HAFED and Haryana Land Reclamation and Development Corporation and farmers can get the products from these agencies if required, Kaushal said.

He added that after locust swarms attacked crops in neighbouring Rajasthan and few other states, nine districts in Haryana where the insect attack is expected have been put on high alert and adequate arrangements have been made in advance to tackle any attack.

The official further said that the Agriculture department has stocked enough pesticides and insecticides and has also formed a farmers' group on WhatsApp. The farmers have also been asked to remain vigilant about locusts, he said.

He further informed that though the locust swarms have not entered the state till now, all necessary precautions are being taken in advance including activation of tractor mounted spraying facilities and constituting a response team for close monitoring of locust control activities.

Along with this, deputy commissioners have been asked to coordinate and hold daily meetings with the response team for quick mobilisation, he said.

The chief secretary was apprised that Agriculture department officers are in regular touch with Jodhpur Central Institute for Locust Warning (Locust Warning Organisation) for gathering necessary details about the swarms' movement.

Locusts, popularly known as ''tiddi dal'', are short-horned grasshoppers with highly migratory habits and voracious feeding behaviour.

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