Due to the locust attacks crop damage has been reported in some areas of Ganganagar, Bikaner and Nagaur distri…Read More
JAIPUR: The state government on Wednesday decided to purchase 100 firefighting vehicles to spray pesticides to fight the locust menace.
These vehicles, purchased from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF), will be useful in locust control as well as disaster relief. The agriculture department had deployed drones for spraying pesticides on trees where the pests perched at night after getting permission from the DGCA, but due to low capacity it had only limited success. The decision was taken at a review meeting by chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday. The state government has allocated Rs 1.47 crore to the district collectors from SDRF which district collectors could use to hire local vehicles and water tankers including tractor-mounted sprayers for locust control and spraying pesticides. The meeting also decided to expedite the recruitment of 290 assistant agricultural officers and 1,900 agricultural supervisors in the agriculture department.
Agriculture minister Lalchand Kataria said a large number of locusts are breeding in African countries and West Asian countries and are expected to reach Rajasthan via Pakistan. He said the government had to work on the district-wise strategy. He said along with the efforts of Locust Warning Organization and the state government, cooperation of local farmers is also significant. Deputy chief whip Mahendra Chaudhary said in view of the frequent locust attacks, it has become necessary to strengthen the locust warning organization and the state government should put pressure on the Centre.
Chief secretary D B Gupta said that financial and human resources are being made available to the district collectors as per the need for locust control. The department of agriculture is engaged in this challenging work with the Locust Warning Organization day and night. Principal secretary, agriculture, Naresh Pal Gangwar said till now locust control has been done in about 95,000-hectare area. BSF’s help is being taken to get concrete information about the arrival of locusts in border districts.
Disaster management and relief secretary Siddharth Mahajan said the Centre has allowed the purchase of vehicles and plant protection chemicals for locust control work from SDRF. He said due to the locust attacks crop damage has been reported in some areas of Ganganagar, Bikaner and Nagaur districts.