Jaipur residents are spending sleepless nights as locusts have led a siege on the city for the past three days. Starting Sunday, these swarms of insects landed on the Rajasthan capital like a biblical plague entering their houses, attacking their rooftops, galleries and devouring up their kitchen gardens and lawns.
Manish Sharma, a resident of Jaipur in C-Scheme, says that he wants the state government to do a surgical strike on these insects at the earliest to ensure they don’t attack Rajasthan again. “I have been unable to sleep since Monday when I saw lakhs of these insects creating havoc in my house on Monday and Tuesday.
“We went running to the terrace and were stunned to see lakhs more covering our roof. They were over 4inch in length and it felt like dry wood to touch.
Sharma said that there were many govt offices near his house and he saw these insects spreading on the gardens. “When these swarms left, most of the trees and plants were leafless,” he added.
“They must be a huge threat to the standing crops. We want the state government to fight against this menace. Their damage is no longer limited to borders, as they have travelled hundreds of kilometres to claim the city here. They are everywhere, in Jaipur, Ajmer and other parts of the state, spreading their terror all across,” he added.
Another resident of Jaipur, Thavar Gupta who lives in a multi-storeyed building, was surprised that these locusts could climb up to the 12th floor. “They were in lakhs. We ran outside our house with crackers to shoo these insects, he said.
More than 40,000 hectares of vegetable crops, pulses, cotton are under direct attack of these swarms of insects that have flown across at least four states, but mainly in Rajasthan, where they have created havoc.
Swarms of desert locusts occur irregularly around the Monsoon months, but this time the attack started early starting end of April. In fact, as the summer peaked Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab all faced these attacks one after the other.
Usually, locust swarms enter the desert areas of India through Pakistan for breeding in June-July. The swarms fly high and travel long distances aided by strong westerlies coming from Pakistan. Most of them settle on trees during the night and mostly fly during the day, reports said.
(With IANS inputs)