India becomes the first country to tackle the locust attack with drones. Here is how states are fighting the locust attack in India.
Use of Drones in Tackling the Locust Attack
The Agriculture ministry is inculcating to use drones by the civil aviation regulator for anti locust operations. The authorities are using drones to spray pesticides at night as locusts are inactive after sunset. The agriculture department finds drones invaluable due to its ability to reach inaccessible areas. The decision has come ahead of the start of the monsoon season in Rajasthan and surrounding regions where locust will migrate to breed. The Ministry is seeking to expand the list of requirements from the civil aviation ministry. However, it encourages the use of traditional methods to fight off locust swarms.
Parts of Delhi on high alerts
Parts of Delhi were on high alert as locust invaded the borders of the national capital. Including rural west Delhi (Dwarka), southwest districts, Gurugram, and Faridabad. The locust swarms took over the skies of Gurugram and Delhi on 27th June. Following this, the government issued an advisory to deploy adequate staff to make all possible arrangements to guide residents to distract locusts. The guidelines included playing high volume music, burning of neem leaves, and beating of drum or utensils.
Bihar’s Approach in Fighting off Locust Attack
The Agriculture Department of Bihar alerted the officials and farmers about the locust attack following the spotting of the swarm of locusts in rural Patna. Bhojpur, Arwal, West Champaran districts have witnessed the pest as well. Citing this, the Agriculture department has ramped up its measures including spraying of pesticides in locust spotted area. District Agriculture officers, along with panchayat officers, had already launched awareness campaigns to inform farmers about the same. They are advised to make loud noises to drive the locust away.
Thousands of farmers in Bihar fear damage to standing maize, sugar cane, and late varieties of mangoes. Agricultural scientists from Bihar Agriculture University say that the state has not witnessed a locust attack in a long time. Apart from the locust attack, the water level rising above the danger mark due to heavy rain will add to the woes of the farmers.
Locust Attack in Jaipur Bought Under Control
The Jaipur administration managed to control locust attack spread over 1,000 hectares, 12 villages, and five locations. The district officials confirm that it was 49th attack since May 20. The district witnessed the attack on Sunday in four areas. District’s agriculture department and locust warning organization started operations on the night of June 27 and finally managed to eliminate the pests.
Recently, the district administration conducted training sessions for the block-level officers well in advance. However, the chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, pointed that despite full cooperation of the Rajasthan government, the Government of India was unable to take appropriate measures to eliminate the attack.
Haryana- all set to drive away the pest
Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said that the state has enough stocks of insecticides, pesticides, machinery to deal with locust attacks. He appreciated the timely response of officials in tackling an infestation in the Rewari district. He mentions the deployment of tractor-mounted spray facilities for the purpose.
Further, he said that they apprehended the locust move towards Rohtak and Sonipat. However, the swarm moved to Gurgaon, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh due to change in wind direction. Subsequently, he added that a particular survey’ Girdwari’ had been ordered to assess the damage caused to the crops. Also, he refuted the allegation of Congress in failing to prevent damage.
In all, the center warns of more locust attacks in the near future. However, the states are battling the attacks with efficiency.