Delhi on high alert; all advised to shut doors, windows

New Delhi: With large swarms of locusts descending upon Gurugram and the outskirts of Delhi on Saturday morning, the Delhi government has issued an advisory directing all district magistrates in the city to be on high alert and coordinate with fire departments so that they can be prepared to undertake large-scale pesticide spraying operations as and when required.

And while the Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai held an emergency meeting over the preparedness to deal with the locust attacks, residents here were advised to shut their doors and windows and make "high decibel" sounds to ensure that the pests do not stop for rest at night.

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

"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," said Rai after the meeting, adding that a small segment of the swarm had entered Jasola Bhati region on the state border.

The district magistrates have also been advised to deploy adequate staff to make villagers and residents aware of these measures. "Swarms of locusts usually fly in the daytime and rest during the night. Therefore, they should not be allowed to rest during night time," it read, adding, "Night spray of malathion or chlorpyrifos is useful. PPE kits may be used while spraying for safety."

In addition, similar advisories were issued in Noida and Greater Noida as government officials noted earlier on Saturday that the wind direction is likely to carry the swarms eastward towards Uttar Pradesh. By Saturday afternoon, the locusts had already entered Faridabad, which shares a border with Noida.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police officers reached out to the people living nearby Delhi- Gurugram borders and told residents about the preventive steps which to be taken during the attack. And while videos claiming to be from Chhatrapur showed locusts flying in, the Delhi Police said they had received no PCR calls about it. In Chhawla and Jafarpur Kalan authorities were told to create awareness and take steps to prevent locusts attack in these areas.

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