Hyderabad: Chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Thursday appointed a five-member committee to keep tabs on locust swarms heading towards Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh and to killing the insects with pesticides if they enter Telangana state.
Speaking at a high-level review meeting at Pragathi Bhavan, he said collectors and police officials of the districts bordering the two states have been alerted, and fire engines, jetting machines and pesticides have been organised to spray the locusts.
He went through data on the entry of locust swarms into the country, their travel path, impact and other issues, and asked about the possible direction the swarms could take.
Experts who were in the meeting estimated that the swarms may travel from Madhya Pradesh to north India and then to Punjab. But if the winds blow towards Telangana state, they may enter the state.
The experts felt that the chances of locusts entering the state are small but the Chief Minister cautioned the official machinery and police in Bhadradri Kothagudem, Mulugu, Jayashankar Bhoopalpally, Mancherial, Asifabad, Adilabad and Pedapalli districts to be alert.
He said 15,000 litres of pesticides such as malathion, chlorpyrifos and lambda cyhalothrin should be kept ready on the border with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh as well as 12 fire engines and 12 jetting machines.
The five-member committee comprises Central Integrated Pest Management Plant Protection Officer R. Sunitha, Agriculture University’s principal scientist Dr S.J. Rehman, Warangal conservator of forests M.J. Akbar, Ramagundam police commissioner Satyanarayana, and Mancherial collector Bharathi, who will stay in Ramagundam for four days from Friday to monitor the situation by helicopter from Adilabad to Bhadrachalam alongside the river Godavari.