Locust control operations continue in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and MP

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22 June 2020, New Delhi: The latest surveillance reported two locust swarms from Indo-Pak border areas, one each in Bikaner and Sriganganagar district. Control operation is going on against these swarms. At present, swarms of immature pink locusts with an intermittent population of maturing yellow adults are active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Sri Ganganagar, Jaipur, Nagaur, and Ajmer districts of Rajasthan, Panna district of Madhya Pradesh and Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

The Locust control work is in full swing with the cooperation and coordination of the State Agricultural Departments, Local Administration, and BSF. 

Related News: FAO warns of Locust attack in Rajasthan till July

Spray equipment (21 Micronair and 41 Ulvamast) are being used by Locust Circle Offices while 200 employees of Locust Warning Organization are deployed for conducting survey and control work. The control room has been established in all 10 Locust Circle Offices and also at Locust Warning Organization (LWO), Jodhpur. Even beyond the Scheduled Desert Area, temporary base camps are set up, at Jaipur, Ajmer, Dausa, and Chittorgarh in Rajasthan; Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh; and at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh for effective control of desert locust. 

Vehicle-mounted sprayers, tractors, and fire tender vehicles

The locust control operations are carried out in the morning hours with the help of vehicle-mounted sprayers, tractors, and fire tender vehicles. The immature locust is very active and mobile making it difficult to control the swarm at one location, due to which it takes 4 to 5 days to control at different locations to completely eliminate the locust population in one place. The yellow, mature adults appear tending to copulate in some areas.

The supply order for 60 additional sprayers is placed with M/s. Micron, UK. On May 22, 2020, a VC was organized in the UK with representatives from Micron, UK, and Indian High Commission to discuss the details of the supply plan. 15 no. of equipment has been received and deployed for locust control. The delivery of remaining equipment is also scheduled in due course. 

The government of India has also issued a supply order of 5 CD Atomizer kits with GPS Trackers for aerial spray capabilities from this UK based company. The first two kits will be available in September 2020 and the remaining 3 kits are to be made after one month of their successful testing. These kits will be fitted into helicopters of the Indian Air Force (as agreed by them) and will be used for air operations for control of desert locusts.

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