How ASI geared up to combat locust attack in Delhi

Ahead of the locust attack in Delhi this weekend, the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) issued elaborate guidelines to prevent any damage to trees, gardens and shrubs that fall under its jurisdiction. There are 174 protected monuments under the ASI in Delhi.

Swarms have recently caused panic in the country as they extensively feed on plants and are capable of destroying large areas of vegetation, including crops. The threat has been particularly dire in Rajasthan; however, over the weekend Delhi issued an advisory to prepare for a possible attack.

ASI swung into action after swarms were spotted in Gurgaon. “After the first notification was issued, Delhi did not see a swarm,” said a culture ministry official. “However, after the Delhi government issued an advisory on Saturday an emergency meeting was held with the DG ASI.”

At the meeting, all division heads were directed to spray the required dose of two insecticides – melathion and cholopyriphos – to avoid any damage to protected properties. The ASI, in an office memorandum issued by the Department of Horticulture, had asked all division heads to “make necessary arrangements for spraying of pesticides to prevent damage caused due to the swarms of locusts…” HT has seen the office memorandum. “Both are old insecticides but they work really well,” said Aruna Urs, a farmer at Takshashila Institute.

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