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Rajasthan CM seeks Centre’s help to protect crops from fresh locust attack

Rajasthan CM seeks Centre's help to protect crops from fresh locust attack thumbnail

Ashok Gehlot said while officials are working hard, they require more resources as locusts are likely to cause massive damage to the next crop if not contained now. File photo of a man spraying pesticides to neutralise locusts in Gujarat’s Banaskatha district (Photo Credits: PTI)Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra…

Ashok Gehlot said while officials are working hard, they require more resources as locusts are likely to cause massive damage to the next crop if not contained now.

File photo of a man spraying pesticides to neutralise locusts in Gujarat’s Banaskatha district (Photo Credits: PTI)

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reinforce resources available to Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), which comes under the preview of Union agriculture ministry. The CM said that a fresh locust attack is upon Rajasthan.

“This time, the locus onslaught has taken a different form and swarms have reached beyond their normal territories to Jaipur, Swai Madhopur, Tonk, Karauli and Dausa,” the CM said. He pointed out that locusts have started coming in such a big number after three decades.

CM Gehlot’s statement came during a review meeting he held with collectors and concerned officials on the locust attack. He has asked all departments to remain on alert.

Ashok Gehlot said while officials are working hard, they require more resources as locusts are likely to cause massive damage to the next crop if not contained now. And hence, he urged Centre to allocated additional resources to LWO, the organisation responsible for the control of Desert Locust in India.

Rajasthan’s agriculture minister Lal Chand Kataria said the locust swarm was first spotted in the state on April 11 and since then they have affected over 50 thousand hectares of land, Luckily, the damage is less because crops have been harvested and fresh crop not sown yet.”

Nareshpal Gangwar, principal secretary agriculture, said the government has sanctioned funds to provide 115 vehicles, 600 tractors mounted sprayers and 3200 tractors with water tankers. He said Rs 5 crore has been sanctioned for locust control and survey.

Siddarth Mahajan, secretary disaster management and the relief asked the collectors to provide information about the damage caused to crops by locusts so that the government can initiate relief to the farmers.

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