LAHORE - Fearing locusts attack in the districts bordering Sindh and Balochistan, Punjab Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar on Tuesday directed the provincial authorities to enhance surveillance and ensure strict monitoring of the situation in southern Punjab, especially Bahawalpur.

He was presiding over a meeting at Civil Secretariat to review situation of locusts in Sindh and Balochistan and measures to cope with its possible attack in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan. The meeting also decided to form a working group to be headed by the Senior Member Board of Revenue to suggest measures to combat locusts.

The chief secretary asked the relevant departments to remain vigilant and timely complete necessary arrangements regarding purchase of pesticides, and equipment used for spray. He maintained that cooperation of local communities is very importance to combat locusts, therefore, they must be mobilized for scouting. The Chief Secretary also ordered Secretary Agriculture Wasif Khursheed to actively coordinate with provincial and federal agencies.

The secretary agriculture told the meeting that in view of the threat, special teams have been deployed in south Punjab to monitor the situation. He said that Director General (Pest Warning and Quality Control of Pesticides) Zafaryab Haider has been deputed in Bahawalpur to supervise monitoring in the region. 300 spray machines have been arranged and distributed in the vulnerable districts, he added.