New Delhi, July 31: In a bid to control the locust menace in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday informed that several locust control operations were carried out at 34 places in 9 districts of Rajasthan and 2 places in Kutch district of Gujarat against swarms and hoppers in the intervening night of July 30 and 31. The Ministry added saying that as of July 31, the swarms of immature pink locusts, adult yellow locusts/hoppers are active in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Churu, Nagaur, Hanumangarh, Jalore and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan, Bhiwani district of Haryana and Kutch district of Gujarat.

Locusts, popularly known as 'tiddi dal', are short-horned grasshoppers with highly migratory habits and voracious feeding behaviour. This insect can eat more than its body weight. A one square kilometre of locust swarm containing around 40 million locusts can in a day eat as much food as 35,000 people.

According to a government release, starting from April 11, 2020 till July 30, 2020, control operations have been done in 2,26,979 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana by Locust Circle Offices (LCOs). Till July 30, control operations have been done in 2,29,582 hectares area in States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Bihar by State Governments. Locust Attack in Lucknow: Twitterati Share Videos of Swarms of Tiddi Dal Seen in UP's Capital City.

"No significant crop losses have been reported in the States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses have been reported in some districts of Rajasthan", the official release said.

At present, 104 control teams with spray vehicles are deployed in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and more than 200 Central Government personnel are engaged in locust control operations. Further, 5 companies with 15 drones are deployed at Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Nagaur and Phalodi in Rajasthan for effective control of locusts on tall trees and in inaccessible areas through spraying of pesticides.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 31, 2020 07:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website