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'Insecticides and Smoke to Chase Away, Kill Locusts': UP Agriculture Minister Says Menace Being Handled

Last Updated: June 27, 2020, 20:16 IST

Lucknow

Image of locust swarm in Prayagraj.

Image of locust swarm in Prayagraj.

UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi said insecticides will be sprayed through fire department vehicles.

Swarms of locusts have invaded several parts of Uttar Pradesh, including the home district of the state agriculture minister, in the past 48 hours, officials said Saturday, adding they were taking steps to either chase the insects away or kill them.

The agriculture department said reports of locust attacks were received from Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Bhadohi, Azamgarh and Ambedkar Nagar on Friday. It said authorities of the neighbouring districts - Hamirpur, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Mirzapur, Sultanpur, Mau and Ballia - have been asked to remain alert.

The locusts have also attacked Deoria, the home district of Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

"A swarm of locusts had come to Deoria, but they descended only on Baisila Mainuddin village. Villagers made noise and chased them away. The swarm has gone towards Kushinagar. The districts where the swarm of locusts will take shelter, chemicals will be sprayed on them and they will be killed. The neighbouring districts have been alerted," Shahi told PTI.

Shahi said insecticides will be sprayed through fire department vehicles.

People have been told to make loud noise by beating 'thaalis' and other utensils, he said, adding police sirens will also be blared and smoke would be used to chase the locusts away.

"The UP government has given Rs 5 lakh to each of the bordering districts of the state for spraying chemicals to kill locusts. Apart from this, a monitoring committee has been formed in each district under the chief development officer to continuously monitor the situation," Shahi said.

On Thursday, a swarm of locusts had attacked Shahganj area of Jaunpur district, where 50 per cent of them were killed. Another swarm was spotted in Shankargarh block of Allahabad and 60-70 per cent of them were killed, the agriculture department said in a statement.

In Chitrakoot district, three swarms of locusts were spotted on Thursday.

"In a joint operation by the Agriculture Department, Fire Department and Central team, 50 per cent locusts were killed," the statement said.

first published:June 27, 2020, 20:16 IST
last updated:June 27, 2020, 20:16 IST