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Insect causing concern in city areas identified as �flour beetle�

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, Sept 3 - The small insect that has been causing concern among the residents of New Guwahati and Bamunimaidam areas of the city for the last few weeks, has been identified as the �flour beetle�.

Entomologist Prof Ranjit Neog identified the insect from specimens provided by a resident of one of the affected areas recently in the laboratory of College of Veterinary Science, Khanapara here.

�The insect is known as the �flour beetle�. It is generally found in rice and wheat which is stored for a longer period than normal. Though it is not harmful to humans, it is very annoying. But, if poultry consumes the beetle, then there is a chance of worms forming in their stomachs. It has a rapid production capacity, hence it is found in large numbers,� Prof Neog said.

Some residents of the affected areas alleged that the beetle might have originated in the rice stored in the FCI godown at Bamunimaidam. Presence of the beetle has also been reported from Jyoti Nagar hillside and near Guwahati Refinery.

The Gunjan Tower Housing Society of the area has also written about the matter to senior officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), besides the State government and the Central government.

�Recently we met senior officials of the FCI and reported the matter. During the discussion, the officials admitted presence of the insect in their godown at Bamunimaidam and assured us that remedial steps would be taken soon. Fortunately, disturbance by the insect has been waning over the past two-three days. We have also come to know that the insect has also originated from some storages located in the Bamunimaidam Industrial Estate,� a resident of the housing society told The Assam Tribune.

Commenting on the matter, Guwahati-based senior officials of the FCI said that they are investigating the matter and all steps would be taken soon to eradicate the insect.

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