Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has instructed the official machinery concerned to be on high alert once again as there is a danger of swarms of locusts attacking the crops in the state. He said that measures have to be taken on a war footing to protect the state from the possible attack from the locusts.

Last month a swarms of locusts, which entered the country in three phases, have come up to Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, but they did not enter the Telangana state. But a swarm of locusts has come near the state recently. The locusts are now at Azmi village near Ramtek in Maharashtra state, which is about 200 kms from the state border. If the locusts travel south, they will reach our state within a short span of time.

Regarding this, the CM held a review meeting on Wednesday at the Pragathi Bhavan on measures to be taken to protect the state from a possible attack by the locusts. The CM was briefed about the latest information on the location and movement of the locusts. It was clear that if the swarms travel south, it would be a danger to the state. Meanwhile, the experts pointed out that there is a possibility of locusts hitting the state anytime between 20 June and 5 July. Around that time monsoon crops season would begin in Telangana and would be in the budding stage. If the locusts attack, there will be large scale loss, as they would eat way the tender crop. Hence, the CM has instructed that strict measures should be taken up so that the locusts would not enter the state.

The CM instructed that the officials in the eight districts bordering Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh districts to be on alert. The swarms of locusts may enter from Bhadrachalam, Charla, Venkatapuram, Vajedu, Peruru, Mangampet, Eturu Naagaram, Chennuru, Vemanapalli, Koutala, Dharmabad, Bodhan, Jukkal, Banswada, Narayankhed, and Zaheerabad areas. Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Mulugu, Mancherial, Adilabad, Nirmal, Asifabad, Nizamabad, Kamareddy, and Sangareddy district collectors were told to be on alert.

The CM has constituted a special team under the leadership of Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to oversee the measures taken to prevent locusts from entering the state. Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Janardhan Reddy, Agriculture University VC Praveen Rao, CIPMC Plant Protection Officer R Sunitha, Agriculture University senior scientist Rahman and others will tour Adilabad for two days and review the situation with the district collectors. This team will monitor the movement of the locusts and the necessary measures.

Minister Satyavathi Rathod, Government’s Chief Advisor, Rajiv Sharma, Somesh Kumar, Janardhan Reddy, Rythu Bandhu state president Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, CMO Principal secretary Narsing Rao and others participated in the meeting.

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