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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Rodents invade Patna Junction, ‘Pied Piper’ summoned

Partha Pratim Roy, Hindustan Times  Patna, December 20, 2012
First Published: 14:50 IST(20/12/2012) | Last Updated: 14:55 IST(20/12/2012)

Just imagine, what could be the most potent threat on a platform at Patna Junction? If you are thinking about pickpockets or chain snatchers, forget it. There is bigger trouble awaiting you, if you are not careful.

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Call it a rodent menace or whatever name you care to give it. As a passenger you should be careful of the big rats, which are these days not only making inroads onto platforms and actually carrying away small items, which you are a tad careless about! So, how interesting does it sound?

In fact, the rodents have so terrorised the railway employees, that they hardly leave any item of their personal use without any protective cover.

If a railway employee is to be believed, a rodent carted away his expensive watch he had kept on his table and decamped into his rathole. “I am sure, one day people will find my watch in one of the debris piles at Patna Junction,” the railway employee said.

There are also instances when booking clerks at Patna Junction had to compensate for the loss when the rats took away cash from their table. And what is really interesting, is that, on many occasions, such incidents took place in the very presence of the booking clerks concerned.

But, the pilferage committed by these big rats is not limited to costly items only. They are greedy enough to attack lunch boxes carried by railway employees in their respective cabins. “These rats make big holes in the lunch boxes and nibble away food items,” said another employee.

According to employees, the rodents have found a permanent hideout in the godown of the inspector of works (IOW) near his office located under the middle foot over bridge.

Railway sources also said, so frustrated is the Danapur administration over the rodent menace, that divisional railway manager, (DRM), LM Jha once ordered rat-trappers cage to catch them. Fourteen such lie around in various rooms, but the ‘campaign against rats’ has made little headway.

Not only that, order has also been issued to hire a professional rat catcher from a particular community to catch the rats. In fact, a person employed for the day, caught 25 of them and presented it to a senior official of the railways recently.

So time to summon the Pied Piper of Hamelin?


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