Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to declare the locust attack a national disaster which will strengthen the capability of states to fight this menace.
Mr Gehlot, in a letter dated August 2, said that around 6.70 lakh hectare of land in 12 districts of the state has been affected by locust infestation in the year 2019-20.
"With the help of the central government locust warnings and joint efforts by the Centre and state government, the impact of the menace was drastically reduced. However, farmers have still faced losses equal to around Rs 1,000 crore," Mr Gelot said.
Apart from Rajasthan, he said that Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and other states also faced the menace this year.
"In the year 2020-21, after the entry of locusts in the state on April 11, around 32 of the 33 districts in the state have witnessed the outbreak of the infestation... Therefore, the locust menace has not remained an issue for the state but for multiple states. The locust outbreak of this scale in the country is being seen after several decades," Mr Gehlot said.
"Declaring this a national disaster will strengthen the capability of states to fight this menace", the letter reads... It is also important that since it is an international issue, all affected countries should take action in the matter with consensus," he added.
Notably, several locust control operations were conducted across all severely-affected districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana among other states by the teams of state and central governments.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, no significant crop losses had been reported in the States of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Haryana. However, some minor crop losses were reported in some districts of Rajasthan, it had noted.
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