While farmers in Punjab are fretting after getting news of locusts being spotted in some fields of Abohar, the state’s agriculture department has stated that there is no locust attack in the state.
Punjab Agriculture Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu told The Indian Express said, “There is no attack of locusts on wheat crop in Punjab. Our men are on alert not only in Punjab but upto 150 km inside Rajasthan as well. Few locusts did enter the border villages of Fazilka and Muktsar, but we cannot call them a swarm as a swarm comprises over 4,000 pests travelling at one time. We have not seen even a single such swarm in Punjab…”
However, farmers are of the contrary view as locusts were seen on Monday in Jatana village of Mansa and Sangat village of Bathinda as well. Farmers of Jatana claimed that the pests were seen in wheat crop in the village. Gurdeep Singh, a farmer of Jatana village, said, “We are beating empty cans during day time but we fear that the pests may cause damage to our crops…”
A swarm of locusts is popularly known as ‘Tiddi Dal’ among farmers.
In Banniwala village of Fazilka, farmers spotted locusts Sunday evening. “Already Tiddi have been spotted in more than a dozen villages of Fazilka district, now spotted in Mansa and Bathinda villages too. I feel that the agriculture department is taking the matter too lightly,” said Ravi Dhingra, a farmer from Mohammad Peeran village of Fazilka.
Pannu however said, “Farmers have spotted ‘Tiddi’ but not in ‘Dal’ (swarm). In Rajasthan, control measures are already being taken. Our department is fully geared up with boom sprays, spray guns.”
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