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January 26, 2020

Effective steps against locust attack ordered

Lahore

January 26, 2020

LAHORE:Punjab Chief Secretary Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan on Saturday assured that every possible step would be taken to root out the menace of locust from the province.

Presiding over a meeting held to review strategy to combat locusts in different districts of the province, the chief secretary (CS) said that relevant departments would have to adopt anti-dengue-like strategy and work on emergency basis to deal with the possible attack of locusts. Officers should remain in the field and coordinate with local farmers and allied departments like forest and PDMA to save the crops and livestock from locust attack.

The CS assured that all cooperation would be extended to meet the requirements, including availability of machinery, pesticides and aircraft for aerial spray.

The agriculture secretary and PDMA DG briefed the meeting that during the last three months, out of total 70,700 hectare area in Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan, spray was done on 42,360 hectares through land routes while aerial spray was carried out on 800 hectare area. So far 42,488 litres of pesticides have been sprayed in nine districts, whereas, 75 officers of different departments and 362 officials are performing their duties in the field, using 17 double-cabin vehicles, 42 jeeps and 300 motorbikes, the CS was briefed. As many as 66 surveillance teams – 21 in Bahawalpur, 26 in Bahawalnagar, 19 in Rahim Yar Khan – are participating in locust combat operation especially in the Cholistan area.

The CS told the officers that budget and other requirements would be brought into the notice of the chief minister and funds would be provided to the districts after approval by the government. He asked the officers to keep close liaison with the local farmers and continue awareness campaign preferably in regional languages.