UP govt announces Rs 5 lakh aid to bordering districts to tackle locust menace

5 months ago 32
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LUCKNOW: In a bid to tackle the menace of

locust attacks

, the

Uttar Pradesh

government has formed monitoring committees and announced.
Rs 5 lakh assistance to each bordering district of the state for spraying chemicals to kill the insects.
"The UP government has given Rs 5 lakh to each of the bordering districts of the state for spraying chemicals to kill

locusts

. Apart from this, a monitoring committee has been formed in each district under the Chief Development Officer to continuously monitor the situation," state Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi told PTI on Tuesday.
He said a central team is following the locusts' swarm and spraying chemicals on them, thus extending co-operation in killing the insects.
"There have been some reports of losses in some parts of Jhansi where the locusts have caused damage to

pumpkin crops

. The farmers have been compensated for the losses. From rest of the places, no report of any damage to crops has come, since there are no kharif crops. Very few farmers have been affected (by the locusts),” Shahi said.
The minister claimed that if the swarm of locusts venture towards western UP, they may damage the sugarcane crops. Similarly, if they reach Lucknow, they could affect the mango cultivation, he said.
The Mahoba district administration had on Sunday sprayed chemicals on the swarm of locusts, spread over half-a-kilometre, killing lakhs of them, officials said. The locusts attacked Mahoba on Sunday evening after invading Banda district. Only 10 per cent of the agriculture fields had vegetables, therefore they settled on trees, district agriculture officer Veer Pratap Singh said on Monday.
The state government has initiated a slew of measures to combat the menace. Teams have been formed at the state-level to deal with the issue. Control rooms have been established to inform the movement of locusts to specific districts to take protective measures, officials said.
An advisory has been issued to beat drums, tin containers and metal plates to create noise and shoo away locusts in case of an attack.
Instructions have also been issued to take assistance of agriculture universities and pest management centres, officials added.

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