Dealing with the rodents in the growing cities of the country
Rodents are a major cause of food grains loss in the country. Lack of a proper waste disposal system leads to a rise their numbers which is accentuated by the absence of any scientific method to limit the rat population. Shortage of staff in has also contributed to an accentuation of the problem. Many of government buildings have become breeding grounds for rodents.
Application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown the even in a city like Chennai, the Corporation of Chennai doesn't have a dedicated team to eradicate the rodents. The corporation informed that the employees responsible for anti-mosquito operations are also given the work of rodent control. Even the budget for the rodent control is derived from the allocation for the anti-mosquito operations. It has spent Rs. 1.87 lakh in 2012-13 which dropped to Rs. 87,000 in 2013-14. The corporation informed that it had set 33.06 lakh traps with poison and killed 21,060 rats since 2012.
Exnora International joint general secretary R Govindaraj has claimed that the rapid rise in the number of roadside eateries and small restaurants is also responsible for the increase in the rat population and has demanded that the corporation should come up with an effective garbage disposal system for eateries. Slums is another area which needs intensive rodent control measures.
The menace of rodents calls for a major initiative at all levels in the country. A demand has been made to have a team of trained rat killers instead of using poison which may lead to pollution of drinking water sources. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has a separate wing consisting of 40 night rat killers and 120 other workers that is said to have killed more than 3 lakh rats each year.