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MCD’s pet problem

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2009 00:27 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Did you know that those big, fat rats are to be blamed for all the waterlogging in the Capital?

Well, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would like you to believe so. According to the civic body, an increase in the number of Bandicoot rats is to blame for the overflowing drains.

The civic body also has some distinctive solutions up its sleeve. The non-governmental organisation, which was approached for help, has suggested that a certain tribe of people from Chennai may be invited to come and eat the rats.

Or better still — pay you for catching them and depositing them with the corporation.

Explaining the problem, MCD Commissioner KS Mehra said the Bandicoot rats dig furrows leaving huge holes in the parks. They also cause storm water drains to cave in blocking movement of water and result in overflowing drains.

“Our sanitation team has to put in extra effort to desilt the drains,” said Mehra. “We held a meeting to discuss the issue and the veterinary department has been asked to prepare a detailed report on it.”

It was also discussed that these tribesmen would be given anti-rabies injections to make sure that the rats do not infect them.

Among other alternatives that came up during the discussion were catching the bandicoots and releasing them in the zoo to be eaten by snakes or releasing snakes in storm water drains to eat the rats.

The NGO also suggested the use of a new technology for catching the rats.

“A drum with low voltage current (not harmful for humans) can be placed in water. The rodents get attracted to the water and get an electric shock and become unconscious for a brief period,” said a senior MCD official.

Mehra said the MCD would also revive their defunct rat catching department to tackle the issue. “We are also planning to involve the people in this exercise. Money will be given to residents if they catch bandicoots/rats and deposit them with the MCD,” said Mehra.

The amount to be given as monetary reward is yet to be decided. The residents will have to show the tails of the rats as proof for getting the money from the MCD.

“We had a meeting with the MCD to discuss issue the catching bandicoots. It is at a very nascent stage and we are still working on a plan,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder Wildlife SOS and member of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau.