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Sunday November 28, 2021

Murad says 30pc locust population eliminated

June 29, 2019

NAWABSHAH: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has declared that locust swarms are not a major threat to crops as it is in fewer numbers and added steps are being taken to stop its movement.

He was talking to the media after visiting areas affected by locust attack and reviewing preventive action taken by the administration at Khadhar near Nawabshah, Nara and Bhitshah on Friday.

The chief minister said the locust attacked crops in Khairpur, Mitiari and Shaheed Benazirabad and the government is trying to confine them within these districts. He said unfortunately the federal government has done nothing to respond to the calamity.

Murad Ali Shah said the provincial government is trying to counter the situation within its resources and nearly 30 per cent of locust population was eliminated. The chief minister directed the officers of the district management, agriculture and plant protection department to ensure locust swarms are eliminated before monsoons as it is during that season when its population could breed exponentially. He directed the federal plant protection unit to provide technical assistance against the locust swarms and help avert damage to crops. He also directed the Agricultural Department to hire more vehicles and machinery to spray the pesticides and prevent damage to the crops. Shah directed the chief secretary to monitor all actions being undertaken to avoid further damage.

He said the government has declared emergency in all districts of the province and an emergency cell is also setup to address the issues of the growers. The chief minister said aerial spray is in progress in the affected areas. The chief minister said the agriculture department has formed 19 teams for monitoring the locust movement round the clock. The chief minister said three aircraft were acquired from the federal government for the aerial spray out of which one developed defect and had to be returned, while two would be employed for the spray. He said Shaheed Zulfiqar Bhutto had purchased 17 planes for aerial spray against locust swarms, of which only seven are now available with the federal government. The chief minister expressed displeasure over the procedure adopted for locust spray, and said they must abide by international conventions to protect the natural ecological conditions.

Talking about the federal budget, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said the people and the business community have rejected the budget. Charging the federal government with economic mismanagement, he said the rupee has been massively devalued and the inflation has pushed commodities of daily use away from the reach of the common man. The hike in gas, power and fuel tariff has badly hurt the people.

Earlier at the Nawabshah airport, the Commissioner Shaheed Benazirabad Nisar Ahmed Memon informed the chief minister that swarms of locust entered Shaheed Benazirabad from Jamshoro and Dadu but timely action prevented any losses to crops and the major parts of Shaheed Benazirabad are now largely clear of locusts. The Divisional Commissioners Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad and Hyderabad and Deputy Commissioners, Deputy Director Plant Protection briefed the CM about the locust attack. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Rahu DIG Mazhar Nawaz and officials of agriculture department were present during the briefing.