Swarm of crop eating locust reached central Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. The swarm was reported in Unnao, Sitapur, Barabanki and Lucknow district. In Lucknow, the swarms of locust was first reported in the western part from where they moved towards residential areas in the city. Lucknow district administration sprung into action to scare the locust away.
“A very large swarm of locust entered Lucknow from nearby Unnao. The swarm was spread across four square kilometers. It fragmented into smaller swarms and crossed into Barabanki,” said Manish Bansal Chief Development Officer ( CDO) of Lucknow. “ We deployed large sound systems atop vehicles in area where the locusts were reported to scare them away,” he added.
Fire tenders filled with chemical sprays were also rushed to some areas on the outskirts of the city where locust were reported to be resettling down.
Locusts swarms was reported in villages under Kakori area along with many parts of the city including Indiranagar, Thakurganj, Aliganj and Dubagga. Teams of local police patrolled the area in their vehicle with their sirens on.
As per forest department officials the swarm comprised of both developing ‘pink’ locust and developed ‘yellow’ locust. The swarm is believed to have remained in Lucknow for around four hours. “The officials concerned have been directed to review the damage caused by the locusts swarm. We are also on alert to handle any more swarms of the insect,” said Bansal.
Hours before locust swarm reached Lucknow it caused havoc on the farms of Sitapur district bordering Lucknow. The locust swarm reach Sitapur on Sunday morning and caused damage to paddy farms, government officials said. Other districts on central and east UP have also been put on alert regarding the locust swarm movement.
Uttar Pradesh along with five other states of north India were on alert to handle possible movement of locust swarms.
Reportedly these locust swarms originated from North Africa and reached India via Pakistan.