Delhi on high alert! Residents asked to beat drums, utensils, play high-volume music to distract locusts

Delhi on high alert! Residents asked to beat drums, utensils, play high-volume music to distract locusts

Environment minister Gopal Rai on Saturday called an emergency meeting to discuss threat of a potential locust attack in Delhi.

He said a small segment of locusts moving towards Palwal in Haryana has entered the Jasola Bhati area of the Delhi border. He said the authorities have been alerted through an advisory issued by the agricultural department of Delhi. South and South West districts have also been kept on high alert.

An advisory issued by the Delhi development commissioner said residents can distract the locusts by making high-decibel sound through beating of drums, utensils; playing high-volume music, bursting crackers, and burning neem leaves.

The advisory asked the people to keep doors and windows closed and cover outdoor plants with plastic sheets.

“Night spray of malathion or chlorpyrifos is useful. PPE kits may be used while spraying for safety,” the advisory said.

Gopal Rai said: “An emergency meeting was called with the Development Commissioner, Divisional Commissioner and Agricultural Director to discuss the locust issue. We have taken stock of the situation and we have got information that a large group of locusts is heading towards Palwal in Haryana. However, a small segment has also entered the Jasola Bhati region of the Delhi border. We have a land that belongs to the forest department in that area.”

Gopal Rai said considering the situation, the Delhi government has issued directions to the forest department to take measures, such making high decibel sound such beating drums, playing loud music etc to get rid of locusts.

“Along with this, chemical spraying is also being done to save the vegetation. South district, West district, and South West district have been kept on high alert and their district magistrates have been intimated through the Divisional Commissioner to ensure all preparations are being done. An advisory on behalf of the agricultural department has also been issued and sent to the DMs, SDMs, MCDs, and all other authorities, on steps to be taken to deal with the situation,” he added.

Gopal Rai assured that the government is monitoring the situation very closely. He said: “This is a small segment of locusts and we are monitoring the situation very closely. The wind is towards the direction of South Delhi, their route can change. Our Development Commissioner will be regularly in touch with the officials of the Delhi government and if the movement of the locusts’ changes in Haryana, we will be fully updated and necessary actions may be taken.”