Telangana braces for locusts, alert sounded on Maha, Chhattisgarh borders

Thursday, May 28th, 2020, 10:42:51 PM IST

Authorities in Telangana on Thursday sounded an alert in the districts bordering Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh to prevent entry of locust swarms into the state.

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao directed the officials to take all the precautions to avert entry of locust swarms as he reviewed the situation at a meeting with ministers and senior officials here.

The government said all the District Collectors, and police officials on the borders with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh were alerted, and fire engines, jetting machines, and pesticides were put in place.

It also constituted a five-member committee to keep a tab on the movement of locust swarms and to monitor measures to prevent them from entering the state.

The Chief Minister also discussed with officials the steps to be taken if locusts enter the state.

He enquired from the experts on the direction the locusts may take in the days to come. He was informed that the locusts group that entered the country through Rajasthan are heading to Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh from Maharashtra, via Bhandara and Gondia.

The experts estimate that there are more chances of their travelling from Madhya Pradesh to north India, and then towards Punjab. Since the locust swarms travel along with direction of the wind, if the winds blow towards the south, they may travel via Chhattisgarh to Telangana. Though the chances are less that the locusts would enter Telangana, the Chief Minister decided to take all the precautions.

“To kill the swarms of locusts, in our neighbouring Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh states, major attempts are being put in the Gondia area. There the locusts were killed in crores. But yet, some of the surviving locusts groups may travel to Punjab via Madhya Pradesh. If the wind changes its direction, they may enter our state via Chhattisgarh. So measures should be taken so that the locusts do not enter our state. Areas bordering Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh should be on high alert. If they enter, they should be killed on the borders by spraying the pesticides,” the Chief Minister said.

To estimate the travel method of the locusts from time to time and to monitor the measures to avert the entry of locusts, the government has appointed a five-member committee. CIPM Plant Protection Officer R. Sunitha, Agriculture University Principal Scientist Dr S.J. Rehman, Warangal Conservator of Forests Akbar, Ramagundam Police Commissioner Satyanarayana, and Mancherial Collector Bharathi are members of the Committee.

This committee will stay in Ramagundam for four days from Friday. They will monitor the situation from Adilabad to Bhadrachalam alongside river Godavari by helicopters. They will also monitor the killing of the locusts if they enter.

The District Collectors of Bhadradri Kothagudem, Mulugu, Jayashankar Bhoopalpally, Mancherial, Asifabad, Adilabad, Pedapalli and police officers concerned were alerted. They were asked to monitor the locust movement and implement the government orders.

Officials were asked to keep 15,000 litres of pesticides like Malathion, Chloropyrifos, Lambda Cyhalothrin ready on the Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh borders. They were also directed to keep 12 fire engines, and 12 jetting machines ready.

The Chief Secretary, the Director General of Police, the Disaster Management Secretary, the Principal Secretary, Agriculture, and the Agriculture University Vice Chancellor will monitor the situation from Hyderabad on a regular basis.

They will have consultations with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments and based on this, issue directions to the district officers concerned.

— IANS