After ravaging crops in MP, locust swarm reaches UP

JHANSI (UP): After attacking crops in Madhya Pradesh, a swarm of locusts reached Jhansi district on Wednesday, an Uttar Pradesh official said. Other districts in the region are also on alert.
Locusts struck the district last week as well, but authorities said they eliminated half of that swarm with the help of local people. The latest swarm was spotted in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh’s Datia district.
Anticipating its arrival, Jhansi administration had already deployed fire brigade vehicles loaded with pesticide. The locusts reached Skill village in Garautha tehsil around 4.30 pm and efforts were on to drive them away, Jhansi division’s Deputy Director Agriculture Kamal Katiyar told PTI.
The swarm is spread over an area of about one square kilometre, he said. Insecticide is being sprayed, he added.
Farmers have been advised to play loud music to deter locusts. “A relatively small swarm of locusts was also spotted in Datawali village under Samthar police station area,” Katiyar said.
Locusts had earlier attacked some parts of Jhansi district on May 22 and 24. As part of preparations for another wave, two fire brigade vehicles with insecticide were deployed in all four Jhansi tehsils. In addition, six vehicles were kept ready at the district headquarter. Ten municipal employees with two insecticide spraying machines have been posted in every block, Katiyar said. Locusts don’t target animals or humans but can devastate crop fields.
The locust threat also figured during a routine meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
He said all protective measures must be taken, a spokesman said.
Swarms of locusts from Pakistan entered Rajasthan last month, affecting several districts and then spreading to other states. (PTI)

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