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New Delhi, June 27, 2020
After swarms of crop-destroying desert locusts reached the outskirts of Delhi on Saturday, the city government directed the district magistrates to make all possible arrangements to distract them.
People have been directed to keep their doors and windows closed and cover outdoor plants with plastic sheets. The District Magistrates have also been asked to be on high alert.
"District Magistrates are advised to deploy adequate staff to make all possible arrangements for guiding the residents to distract the locusts," the advisory by agriculture joint director A. P. Saini stated.
The government said that locusts can be distracted by way of making high decibel sound through beating of drum utensils, playing high volume music on music systems, firing crackers and burning of neem leaves.
Over the past few months, locust swarms have attacked and destroyed crops in various states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
Three kilometre-long swarm of desert locusts reached the outskirts of Delhi after entering Gurugram on Saturday morning.
Earlier, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation pursuant to the locust attack in neighbouring Gurugram.
According to a Union Agriculture ministry report, 84 districts of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, spread over an area of 114,026 hectares, have been affected by locusts till June 21, 2020.