Farmers beat ‘thalis’ to scare insects away

Ravinder Saini - Tribune News Service

Rewari, June 26

Swarms of locusts covering 8 km in length and 3 km in width on Friday entered the state from Rajasthan and settled in various villages of Khol and Jatusana blocks in Rewari district in the evening after passing through Mahendragarh district.

The locust attack kept the administration in Rewari and Mahendragarh districts on their toes throughout the day. Farmers left no stone unturned to stop the swarms from settling in their fields and protect their cotton and bajra crops. Farmers in villages where locusts were flying low forced the swarms away by banging ‘thalis’.

The swarms initially tried to settle at Khaleta and Siha villages under the Khol block in Rewari district after coming from Mahendragarh, but farmers gathered in large numbers and banged utensils and beat drums to push locusts away. The locusts flew over 36 villages of Mahendragarh district and minor damage to the cotton crop was reported from Thana village.

Officials kept an eye on the movement of locusts throughout the day and senior officers kept a tab from the state headquarters. Additional Director (Agriculture) Surinder Dahiya reached the spot while Additional Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal issued directives to the district authorities.

“A total of 593 tractor-mounted pumps have been put in operation and farmer groups have been activated. Hafed and Haryana Land Reclamation Development Corporation have replenished the stock of insecticide,” said Kaushal, adding that the operation against locusts would commence soon.

Agriculture Minister JP Dalal would visit Rewari on Saturday to take stock of the situation. Rewari DC Yashendra Singh said they were taking all measures to protect the crops from locusts.

He further said locusts had reached Berali, Biharipur, Parkhotampur, Bohatwaas, Gopalpur, Gudiyani, Lala, Baldhanpur Berali and Musepur villages under the Jatusana block. “Spray will be carried out where locusts settle. All arrangements have been made in this regard,” he added.