Lucknow, May 28 : The Uttar Pradesh government has issued a high alert on the locust swarm attack, advising people to beat utensils, drums and even play DJ, in order to chase away the huge army of grass-hoppers, which can cause severe damage to standing crops. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday night issued a high alert for 17 bordering districts of the state, including Jhansi, Lalitpur, Agra, Mathura, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakoot, Jalaun, Etawah, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Chandauli and Kanpur Dehat. In Jhansi, the locusts were seen in Moth and Garautha Tehsils on Wednesday night, but were chased away by the farmers with the help of the coordinating team. Similarly, another swarm of locust was seen in Ghorawal tehsil of Sonbhadra district, after it entered from Singrauli in MP on Wednesday.
State Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi instructed the District Magistrates and Agriculture department officials to take preventive steps to tackle the issue. Mr Shahi said that state level teams have been formed to tackle the issue and have been rushed to the affected districts. 'These teams are in the border areas to keep vigil and inform districts concerned to ensure timely action. At district headquarters, nodal officers have been appointed and a task force constituted. Information on how to tackle locusts has been sent to district officials through social media and other means.
Farmers have been given information on the issue,' he added. 'Near Jhansi, a swarm spread over a square kilometre, was spotted in Madhya Pradesh's Datia district,' said Kamal Katiyar, Deputy Director in UP's Agriculture department. Mr Katiyar said a swarm of locust had earlier attacked some parts of Jhansi district on May 22 and 24, but an already alert administration, with the help of local people, eliminated over a half of it. 'As part of preparations for another wave, two fire brigade vehicles with insecticide have been deployed in all four tehsils of the district. In addition, six more vehicles were ready at the district headquarter,' he added. (UNI)