One of the biggest sporting extravaganzas in the country, after the 1982 Delhi Asian Games, could become the target of rodents.
This fear of an embarrassing scenario has prompted the veterinary staff of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to don the role of a pied piper.
To rid the city of rodents, the civic agency has assigned 90-odd veterinary workers to catch them especially from the Commonwealth Games sites including training, cultural venues and hotels in Paharganj, which will be frequented by the sportspersons and tourists.
“There are a number of rodents especially in East Delhi and South Delhi where most of the Commonwealth Games sites are located. To ensure they don’t nibble on the carpets or damage, the underground wiring system and other infrastructure we have been asked to remove them,” said a senior MCD official, who didn't give his name, as he isn’t authorised to speak on this.
“These rodents create foul smell when they urinate or defecate, so special care will be taken to remove them from the Games.”
The civic agency has also invited quotation for purchasing rodenticides, which will be placed at these sites to kill the rodents. Those the rodent catching squad will capture will be relocated in the Ridge area, the official said.
“We have purchased 1,000 cages that the squad can use to catch rodents. The chief secretary of Delhi recently held a meeting asking the MCD to chalk out a plan for ridding the city of rodents as their presence in venues and Games sites would be an embarrassing situation,” added the official.
Several areas in the city will be given top priority in removing these rodents. The areas include Civil lines and hotels located in Sadar Paharganj.
“They chew on important papers, towels and even wooden doors. They are often responsible for short-circuits and subsequent fires and power cuts. We are just waiting for the medicines and from June the operation will begin,” he added.
Recently, the civic agency had planned to encourage Delhiites to catch rodents but the plan never took off.