Desert locusts returned to Madhya Pradesh’s (MP) capital, Bhopal, on Tuesday, as the swarm of insects were spotted in several areas in the city, including near the state secretariat and chief minister’s official residence, two days after they were first sighted in June, state agriculture department officials said.
“A swarm of desert locusts spread over more than a kilometre entered Bhopal from the neighbouring Sehore district at about 9am on Tuesday. The insects were seen hovering over the Bhopal-Indore highway. Initially, they were spotted in Bairagarh area and later moved towards Einthkhedi and Mugalia Chaaps and also the CM’s official residence and the state secretariat around noon,” said SN Sonaniya, deputy director in the state agriculture department.
“Fire tenders sprayed water to shoo away the invading desert locusts, as insecticides couldn’t have been used in these densely populated areas. The insects made way for the neighbouring Raisen district later in the day,” he added.
Earlier, two separate groups of desert locusts were spotted in Bhopal for the first time this year in mid-May, when they had entered MP’s Kolar Road and Bairasia from Rajasthan.
Curious Bhopal residents shot videos of swarms of desert locusts hovering over Bhopal on Sunday and Tuesday on their smartphones and posted them on social media.
Agriculture department officials said over 35 districts in MP have been affected by the invading desert locusts, as the insects have destroyed vegetables and lentils.