Assam CM asks DCs to assess damage to crops by ‘armyworms’

Guwahati (Assam) [India], Sept. 13 : Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday directed Deputy Commissioners to personally inspect the farming lands to assess the damage caused by the swarming caterpillar or armyworms.

An official release said that the Chief Minister has instructed to take all necessary action to contain the problem in view of the armyworm menace that has resulted in the heavy damage to the standing crops.

It is reported that over 17,000 thousand hectare of crop lands in 10 districts has been destroyed by armyworms.

In last seven days 1,600 hectares cropland with paddy was destroyed by the army worms throughout Majuli, a caterpillar locally known as 'shur puk'.

As on Monday, Golaghat district in upper Assam was the worst-hit by army worms with 6, 671 hectare of paddy crop devoured, followed by Dibrugarh with 5,000 hectare cropland damaged.

All these happened within three days. Sivasagar is the third worst affected district where 2,800 hectare cropland damaged. The other armyworms hit districts are Jorhat, Majuli, Lakhimpur, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Nalbari and Dhubri.

The armyworms attack came at a time when the farmers of the state have started preparing their fields for winter paddy after the devastating flood last month damaged nearly three lakh hectare crop areas.

The last time such a major attack of armyworms took place was in 1967, but the damage wasn't as widespread.

Source: ANI