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Tuesday, April 23 2024
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Aerial disinfectant project halted in B’luru after experts express concern

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Bengaluru: The Bengaluru civic body’s much touted pilot project of aerial spraying in crowded areas has been halted. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta said on Monday that the aerial spraying operations have been stopped for the time being after several environment and health experts raised concerns about its efficacy.

The aerial spraying of disinfectants was to be taken up in two different parts of the city from Monday onwards for the next three days. The project has now been put on hold after environmental and health concerns were raised.

Gupta told reporters that the civic body was studying the pros and cons of the project. “We will discuss with health and environment experts before relaunching this project,” he said.

He added that the BBMP needs to thoroughly study the negative ramifications of such spraying before going ahead with the project.

“The company approached us seeking permission for an experimental flight, which we allowed after due discussions at various levels. But after environmentalists and health experts raised questions about it, we will again hold detailed consultations with various stakeholders before arriving at a final decision. Until then this project is on hold,” he said.

He pointed out that the civic body had sprayed disinfectants using jetting machines and sprayers in the past.

On Saturday, amid much fanfare Karnataka revenue minister, R. Ashoka had announced the aerial spraying project by Aerialworks Aero LLP as a means to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Over three days, the aerial spraying of organic disinfectant was to be taken up in Shivajinagar and K. R. Market areas that are densely populated and have been the main commercial hubs for ages.

While maintaining that the state government was not incurring any expense on this pilot project, Ashoka had claimed that the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board would study the efficacy of the initiative.

“The state government aims to extend this project across other parts of the city if this pilot project is found successful and feasible,” the minister had said.

On its part Aerialworks Aero LLP in its statement asserted that the solutions — Airlens Minus Corona and Sugaradhana Organic Antimicrobial concentrate — used in spraying were safe and had been certified as such by premier institutions like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

“The Airlens Minus Corona is a chemical-free, human safe, highly effective sanitisation system that uses just tap water and electricity to generate sanitisation solutions that can be used in public spaces, offices, hospitals, homes etc. Developed by PerSapien Innovations, a team of scientists and engineers from Stanford University, Indian Institute of Technology Institutes (IITs) and All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the technology is tested and verified by the ICMR,” the statement said.

The statement added that it was a novel innovation that is safer, better and more effective against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.

“Sugaradhana Organic Antimicrobial concentrate is developed with the power of Ayurveda. Proven effective against bacteria, fungus and viruses in lab and on field. It is the only disinfectant that’s 100 per cent skin safe with no side effects. It will reduce the contamination and spread in the air itself. Already tested to arrest Covid-19 spread in sprayed areas,” the statement claimed.

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