Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has asked the central government to provide additional resources and support for locust control as they continue to be active in the western districts bordering the state.
The chief minister on Tuesday reviewed measures being taken to control locust attacks in various districts of western Rajasthan to save crops and other vegetation.
Locust outbreaks have occurred in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh and Nagaur districts.
Gehlot said the persistence of locusts is not a normal phenomenon and since the subject of locust control is mainly under the Centre, it should provide additional resources and support to the state government for effective control over it.
It was informed in the meeting that locusts have been active in the western region of the state for many months. To control this, the state government is continuously taking action in collaboration with the locust warning body of the Centre.
The state”s agriculture department is in contact with the locust warning body”s regional office in Jodhpur, according to a statement.
Locust activity generally decreases with the onset of winter around October but the issue is persisting this year. This is expected to affect the crops. It was also mentioned in the meeting that locusts come into the western border of the state from Pakistan.
International cooperation and coordination is necessary for effective control over this problem. The Centre should take initiative and provide necessary additional technical expertise, cooperation and resources to the state government.
Since May, 9-10 large locust groups have entered the state so far.
The locust warning organisation along with the agriculture department has controlled locusts covering 3.1 lakh hectares and saved crops and other vegetation since May.
More than 2.21 lakh litres of malathion chemical has been sprayed. To save the crops from a locust outbreak, the state government has so far approved Rs 3.07 crore.
Agriculture Minister Lalchand Kataria and Principal Secretary of Agriculture Department Nareshpal Gangwar and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.