Palanpur, Jan 20: The locust attack in Banaskantha district has so far affected three bordering villages of Vav taluka, even as there is a strong possibility of their returning back to the neighbouring Rajasthan and further into Pakistan, amid extensive control measures by the state and Central government teams, a top official said here on Monday.
According to District Agriculture Officer (DAO) P K Patel, Mavsari, Radha Nesda and Kundariya villages have been affected by the recent locust attacks, which had started just a couple of days back. Currently, 10 teams were involved in location tracking, while 27 tractors mounted pesticide sprinkling teams were destroying locusts. A survey to estimate the damages would be taken up, once the locusts return or were controlled completely.
In the three villages, there were standing crops of Cumin seed, black mustard seed and castor. 'However, we have reports that the locusts were quickly returning towards Rajasthan and Pakistan, due to wind pattern,' he said. To a query, Mr Patel said that locusts have not spread to other parts of North Gujarat so far and was limited to the three villages of this district only. Gujarat government had on January 7 announced an assistance of Rs 31.5 crore to around 11,000 farmers for damage to crops due to the Locust attack that had started from December 14 and lasted for around two weeks, in a total of 285 villages in 15 talukas of the two districts of Banaskantha and Patan.
The crops, mainly of castor seed and cumin seed, were damaged. Of these, 280 villages were in 13 talukas of Banaskantha and remaining five were in two talukas of Patan district. The damage of crops was in 24472 hectares in Banaskantha and 750 hectares in Patan. The affected farmers were to be paid Rs 18,500 per hectare in the maximum limit of up to two hectares. Even though the government had announced assistance for only two districts, locusts in fact, were seen in other districts like Sabarkantha, Mahesana, Aravalli and parts of Kutch too, but based on the damage criteria, assistance was given to the farmers of only two districts. The farmers in affected villages sought damage assistance from the government. (UNI)