A joint operation, launched on the orders, of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has completely wiped out locust from the affected villages, along the Indo-Pak border, in district Fazilka.The nearly 12-hour operation, in Roopnagar and Bareka villages, was carried out under the personal supervision of Deputy Commissioner Fazilka, under the directions of Financial Commissioner Development Viswajeet Khanna.Acting on the Chief Minister’s orders, Khanna directed Secretary Agriculture KS Pannu to chalk out an effective action oriented strategy on the ground to combat the attack of locust swarms in the two villages, according to an official spokesperson.Khanna also asked the Deputy Commissioner Fazilka to take stock of the situation on the ground for meticulously planning and personally supervise the entire operation to ensure elimination of locust swarm, which has entered in these villages. Subsequently, the DC Fazilka held a meeting of all district level stakeholders late last night to review the preparedness plans in this regard.
Meanwhile, Pannu also held a meeting with officials of Agriculture at 9 pm on Sunday and sounded a high alert. He deputed all concerned officers on emergency duty and asked both the Director and Joint Director Agriculture to immediately rush to these vulnerable sites attacked by the locust in Fazilka district. On reaching Abohar, the Director Agriculture held detailed deliberations with the officials at 5 am, and then took command of the joint operation involving BSF, fire brigade, departments of Agriculture and Horticulture, Punjab Agriculture University, civil and police administration of Fazilka district, besides the farmers, under the direct supervision of DC Fazilka.Sufficient quantity of insecticide was provided to all teams. Boomer sprayers, tractor mounted high velocity sprayers and fire brigade vehicle were utilised to control the locust. The operation finally concluded successfully at 10 am today with complete elimination of the locust swarm.Notably, Captain Amarinder has already taken up the issue of attacks on crops by locust swarms in neighbouring areas of southern Punjab bordering Rajasthan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has urged the Prime Minister to direct the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to immediately raise this matter with the government of Pakistan, from where the pests were entering the Indian side.