Monday 06 July 2020

Flying from Gurugram, swarms of locusts enter Delhi; heading towards UP

- Posted on 27 June 2020

Jhajjar/New Delhi/Gurugram, June 27

Swarms of locusts reached several parts of Delhi after entering Gurugram on Saturday early afternoon.

The dark cloud of locusts were seen in Rajendra Park of Sector 5, Surqt Nagar, Dhanwapur, Palam Vihar, Maruti factory in Sector 18, Sector 17 DLF phase 1 and many other places in old and new Gurugram.

Residents of Gurugram were surprised due to the sudden attack of locusts around 11 am.

Multiple videos shot by residents of Gurugram and Delhi showed the crop-eating locusts in sky.

Residents also used mikes, and loud speakers to keep locusts away from their homes.

The central government said in a statement on Saturday evening that locust swarms from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan moved in three groups towards Gurugram and Palwal in Haryana and from there towards Uttar Pradesh.

“Control operations are underway in Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. As of now no locust swarms are noticed in any city areas,” the Union Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.  

Locust swarm were noticed in Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) in the morning of June 26 and control teams were deployed to eliminate the locusts. The leftover locusts regrouped and reached Haryana’s Rewari on Friday evening. Control operations were undertaken in Rewari from Friday evening till early on Saturday morning, the central government said.

The remaining locusts regrouped, and that swarm divided itself into three groups. One swarm flew towards Gurugram, and from there to Faridabad and onwards to Uttar Pradesh. Another went towards Dwarka in Delhi, from there to Daulatabad, Gurugram, Faridabad and this swarm has also entered Uttar Pradesh.

The third group was seen in Palwal (Haryana) and has also moved towards Uttar Pradesh.

According to information given by the Ministry of Agriculture, all the groups of locust swarms are being tracked by teams of the State Agriculture Departments of Rajasthan, Haryana and UP, local administrations and officials of the Central Locust Warning Organization, and control operations are underway.

More control teams from Rajasthan have been moved to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to help in the locust control operations being carried out in these two states.

The locusts keep flying during day time and settle down only after dark in the evening. Ground control teams are constantly tracking them and will undertake major control operations once they settle down. Control teams in Uttar Pradesh have been alerted for this. 

Earlier in the day, as locusts pass over Jhajjar villages in Haryana, farmers were on high alert and have been trying a slew of methods in an attempt to scare away the insects.

From playing loud music to banging utensils to spraying pesticises, the villagers in Jhajjar and Rewari have been trying it all so that swarms of locusts don’t settle in their fields.

Meanwhile, Haryana Agriculture Minister JP Dalal visited Bhotawas village in Rewari and enquired from the villagers and officials about the damage caused by locusts.

Flying from Jhajjar, the swarm of locusts entered Gurugram from Chandu village and then reached the MG road. The local administration has sounded an alert and issued an advisory.

Gurugram residents have been asked to keep their windows shut and make clanging noise by beating utensils to ward the insects off.   The pests headed towards Palwal in Haryana.

Alarmed at the invasion of the locusts, which settled on trees, rooftops and plants, many residents of Gurugram shared videos from their high-rise perches.

In May, India battled a devastating desert locust outbreak. The crop-destroying swarms first attacked Rajasthan and then spread to Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. 

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