Panic among locals after locusts attack villages of Koraon area of Prayagraj

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A swarm of locusts was spotted over villages located in Koraon tehsil of Meja Development block of the district, located around 65 kilometres from Prayagraj city in district’s trans-Yamuna area. The incident created panic among the farmers on late Tuesday night.

The swarm, around 3 kilometres wide and 1 kilometre long, spurred the district administration and the agriculture department into action. The administration launched an operation to spray anti-locusts’ chemicals in the fields with the help of four fire tenders, officials stated.

A smaller swarm was also spotted near Jhunsi but dissipated soon, they added.

Also read: Locals in Rajasthan’s Ajmer clang utensils to keep locusts at bay

As per reports, the locals suddenly saw a huge swarm of locusts late evening near Kalyanpur and Sahajnipur areas of Koraon which grew as the time passed. “Within a few hours, the crop-munching insects were everywhere and I saw them at Ledirai market,” shared a local farmer, Ramdeen.

Locals then informed the officials and soon a team of officials including deputy director (agriculture) Vinod Kumar Sharma, district agriculture officer Ashwin Kumar Singh and sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Sandeep Kumar Verma reached the spot. After assessing the situation, the officials decided to launch an offensive against the locusts.

“Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot. With additional support from tractors of locals, anti-locust chemicals were sprayed. The exercise went for five hours after which the locusts flew away,” said block development officer (BDO) Rama Shankar.

Also read: UN body warns of another invasion of locusts in July

A smaller swarm was also spotted in Jhunsi at Chatnag and Munshi-Ka-Pura village as well as in areas of Badra-Sonauti. The swarm, after some time, proceeded towards Kachari village before disappearing in the night towards West, he added.

We believe that the swarm entered Prayagraj from the bordering villages of Madhya Pradesh, the official added.

District Magistrate Bhanu Chandra Goswami said that as there was already an alert sounded against the locusts, the officials and the locals were well aware of steps to be taken in case of an attack by the insects.

“All officials reached the spot and were able to take the necessary steps. Villages of Kalyanpur, Itwa and Sohagi were impacted but as no major crops have been planted yet, no major damage is feared barring few vegetable crops. We are keeping a watch on the situation and all neighbouring districts have also been alerted,” he added.

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