Swarms of locusts reach Gurugram, residents share visuals
After weeks, crop-destroying locusts are back in North India, this time to launch an attack on Gurugram, Haryana, just next to Delhi. On Saturday, several residents of the city shared images of the locust attack, which showed lakhs of them flying. The administration had earlier issued guidelines for residents, urging them to stay indoors and make noises to ward them off. Here's more.
Last month, states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra were ravaged by these insects of grasshopper family. They had reportedly arrived from Iran and Pakistan. Though such attacks are common during drier months, the enormity of it stunned officials. Faridabad-based Locust Warning Organisation (LWO) had called the attack the worst one in 26 years. In fact, drones were used for spraying insecticides.
Anticipating the attack from these insects, who can eat as much as they weigh, the Gurugram administration had issued an advisory. To note, one kilometer of swarm nestles 4-8 crore locusts. They can gobble food meant for some 35,000 people. "A swarm of locusts has reached Mahendragarh district and is expected to reach Rewari border," the administration said. Farmers were asked to remain alert.
The administration asked farmers, whose months of hard work is at stake, to keep pumps ready for spraying insecticide. And the agriculture department was asked to spread awareness. "Under the circumstances, Gurugram administration has issued an advisory that people must keep their windows shut and make noise by clanging tin boxes, utensils, and dhol so that locusts can't settle at a place," the administration said.
The central government is learned to have set up 11 control rooms to handle the situation. Speaking on the impending crisis, Gurugram Agriculture Department's Deputy Director Atmaram Godara said the direction of the wind will decide their movement. "It may go towards Jhajjar or Gurugram. In Gurugram, it is likely to hit parts of Pataudi," he went on.
Morning visuals from Gurugram showed locusts flying. In one video, tweeted by news agency ANI, locusts were seen blanketing a road while cars moved slowly in Sector 5. Another Twitter user, @Dushyantwave, tweeted a video from Dwarka Expressway. "Please close doors and windows as locusts enter Gurgaon, (sic)" the post read. Some reports said the swarms were spread over 3 kilometer.