Published: June 30, 2020 6:50:06 am
After using drones for locust control, the government will deploy helicopters for aerial spraying of pesticides to stop the spread of the swarms.
According to sources, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will flag off a helicopter with spray equipment from a helipad facility at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday. “The helicopter will fly for Air Force Station at Uttarlai, Barmer, where it will be stationed, and from there it will be deployed for locust control in desert areas of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Nagaur as per protocol,” said a source.
“The helicopter firm, M/s. Malhotra Helicopters, has been finalised for conduct of single pilot operation with Bell 206-B3 helicopter having pesticide carrying capacity of 250 litres in one trip and which can cover 25-50-hectare area in one flight. The total contract value is around Rs 1.25 crore for a minimum guarantee of 100 hours in 60 days and there is an incentive clause of Rs 10 lakh.”
The government earlier used drones to control locust swarms. It is learnt that the ministry had engaged five companies to provide services of drones. “Until now 12 drones have been deployed for locust control in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Nagaur,” said a source. “India has become the first country to use drones for locust control. Total amount sanctioned for deployment of drones is Rs 1.2 crore for a period of 30 days,” the source added.
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