After destroying crops in Rajasthan, a large swarm of locusts has now reached Jhansi, a city in Uttar Pradesh. On Monday, several areas of the city were under locust attack.
Andra Vamsi, Jhansi District Magistrate told ANI that the locusts mostly attack at the places which are near the river bed.
"Locust swarms have arrived in Jhansi from Rajasthan. It has been observed that their movement is more concentrated near the river bed, affecting vegetable and soya plantations," he said.
The Locust Warning Organization (LWO) of the Union ministry of agriculture and farmer welfare has warned of another attack in May-June this year. Notably, the first locust attack of this year was reported from Ganganagar, a district in north Rajasthan bordering Pakistan, on May 11.
The Uttar Pradesh government Monday announced a state-wide alert after an army of locusts invaded farms in several districts. Locust is a pest which destroys crops and vegetation.
Authorities fear that the pests have affected crops in 17 districts of the western UP including Agra, Aligarh, Bulandshahr, Etah, Kanpur and Mathura.
The district administrations have sounded the bugle and directed fire brigade to keep vehicles ready with chemicals to tackle the swarm of locusts. Besides, a team has come from Kota, Rajasthan to tackle the locusts.
The swarms have been regularly coming across the Indo-Pak Border over the last month. Two to three swarms have been coming from Pakistan almost every alternate day through Jaisalmer, Barmer and Sriganganagar. The locust swarms fly in the direction of the wind and they have been covering almost a hundred kilometres per day to reach most of the state.
The only relief is that the Rabi crop has been harvested and the monsoon crops are yet to be sowed. But the pests have inflicted serious damage to vegetable and fruit crops. This is the time when fodder for cattle is also sown and that too has been damaged.
(With inputs from Kanchan Srivastava and Sangeeta Pranvendra)