The IAF on Sunday deployed two MI-17 helicopters for the first time in an anti-locust operation on Sunday and eliminated swarms of insects settled over a four-square-km area in Osian sub-division of Jodhpur by spraying pesticides. The Indian Air Force deployed its helicopters laden with pesticides early on Sunday on a request by the Jodhpur district administration and sprayed the chemical over a huge swarm of locusts which had landed in Bheekamkor village in the sub-division on Saturday.
“We informed the IAF in the night and two choppers reached the area in the morning to eliminate the locust swarm,” said Locust Warning Organisation’s Deputy Director K L Gurjar.
Before the IAF helicopters took the anti-locust sorties, the officials had marked the affected area on the ground with red flags to help chopper pilots identify the exact location, he said.
“The chopper sprayed the pesticide on the marked area in an operation that lasted about an hour,” said Gurjar.
“About 50 percent of the swarm was eliminated by the end of the operation and remaining 50 percent was not in a position to move due to the impact of chemical,” he said.
The remaining insects would die soon, he added.
It was for the first time that the IAF came to the rescue of LWO with an indigenously developed mechanism to spray pesticide.
The swarms of locusts have been consistently invading Jodhpur for the past two months, sad LWO officials.
They said attacks by bigger swarms of locusts are expected next month as there has been massive breeding of the insects in Pakistan and beyond.