The government will now deploy air force helicopters to spray pesticides on locust swarms that have played havoc in several parts of the country over last few weeks.
The helicopters will be equipped with imported aerial spray machines, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said while flagging off a helicopter of a private company to be deployed for the first time for controlling locusts.
“We have ordered for five aerial spray machines from United Kingdom. They will be deployed in IAF helicopters and pressed into operation for locust control,” Tomar said.
“The helicopter will fly for Air Force Station at Uttarlai, Barmer, where it will be stationed initially and from there deployed for locust control in desert areas of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Nagaur. The Bell helicopter will have single pilot operation with pesticide carrying capacity of 250 litres in one trip. It can cover 25 to 50 hectare area in one flight,” he said.
Tomar said that no significant damage to crops has been reported due to locust attack so far.