Meghalaya government seeking info on locusts in East Jaintia Hills

An enquiry has been ordered on the reports that locust-like insects were found at Umkiang under East Jaintia Hills distric has been issued, said S Nongbet, director, horticulture department, Meghalaya

Directions for an enquiry on the reports that locust-like insects were found at Umkiang under East Jaintia Hills distric has been issued, said S Nongbet, director, horticulture department, Meghalaya on Wednesday in Shillong.

“I have forwarded the video that has gone viral of the locust-like insect to the staff who are from the district to enquire about the matter, but such insects usually come out every year during hotter seasons and are attracted to lights like a street lamp, etc,” Nongbet said.

“Our staff on Covid-19 duty there will be visiting the area today to enquire about the matter and find out if it is really in Umkiang, East Jaintia Hills district as mentioned in the video,” she said.

Nongbet, however, said that the desert locusts that have descended on Rajasthan are very different from the ones that were seen at Umkiang as per the video.

“The desert locusts come in swarms and they are really dangerous but those insects that appeared in the video in the state are small grasshoppers but we will still find out about them and see if samples are needed to be taken, etc” she further said.

Stating that it is very unlikely that the desert locusts will come to Meghalaya, she said, “We have coordinated and held a meeting with the Central Integrated Pest Management here where it was informed that the desert locust needs a sandy desert-like soil to lay its eggs and we don’t have such type of soil here in the state.”

Recently, the director of agriculture, B Syiem had also stated that it is most unlikely that the swarms of desert locusts which had left a trail of destruction in other parts of the country will reach Meghalaya.

NNN | SHILLONG

First Published:June 3, 2020, 10:12 p.m.