Locusts have flown over as many as 19 districts of the state and Jhansi and Auraiya have reported major crop loss.
Locusts in Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh, Centre brace for locusts attack! Swarms are flying in large numbers to UP and the administration is all prepared with mist guns and fire tenders for chemical spray, a report in IE said. Moreover, DJ systems and bands have also been roped in to blast music at high decibel levels so that the pests can be warded off, the report added. The entire state has been put on high alert due to the menace and the authorities are closely tracking the wind direction and the possible movements of the pests towards Lucknow, Unnao, Kanpur and Auraiya.
The report added that the locusts have flown over as many as 19 districts of the state and Jhansi and Auraiya have reported major crop loss.
The report quoted Indramani Tripathi, Lucknow Municipal Commissioner, as saying that mist sprinkles having a capacity of one lakh litres of chemicals have been readied. Apart from this, 12 DJs and bands have been roped in and they are ready to play music at high decibel when needed. Fire tenders are also ready to be deployed for the spraying of chemicals, he was quoted as saying.
Apart from this, the Centre is all set to deploy helicopters to tackle the pest menace, IE stated. Earlier drones were used to spray pesticides. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday flag off a helicopter fitted with chemical spraying equipment from a helipad in Greater Noida. The report stated that the helicopter would head to an Air Force station in Barmer and from there it would be deployed to fight off the pests in the desert areas of Jodhpur, Barmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Jaisalmer.
The report added that the helicopter selected for this can carry 250 litres in a single trip and cover an area of 20-25 hectares in one flight. The report added that the total value of the contract is around Rs 1.25 crore and this includes a minimum guarantee of 100 hours in 60 days. An incentive clause of Rs 10 lakh is also in place.
IE also cited the Agriculture Department and said that the locusts were seen in seven districts of the state on Sunday and in four on Monday, with the likelihood of arriving at Unnao by late Monday evening.