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Wanted more rat killers

With the rat population on the rise, the BMC has decided to employ 183 night rat killers in the suburbs.

mumbai Updated: Nov 01, 2010 02:48 IST
Bhavika Jain

With the rat population on the rise, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to employ 183 night rat killers in the suburbs.

Till date, the civic body had 44 rat killers for the city area alone, and decided to expand the team to cover the suburbs as well. Thirty-three were appointed in February to tackle the increasing rodent population.

Municipal commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya has cleared the insecticide department’s proposal of creating the new posts for the suburbs. They are now waiting for the green signal from the standing committee.

“Since there were no posts for night rat killers in the suburbs, these posts will have to be created,” said Dr Arum Bamne, chief insecticide officer.

The night rat killers are required to kill at least 30 rats a night. If they fail to achieve the target, they have to make up for it the next night. The dead rodents are then taken to the incinerator at the Haffkine Institute in Parel.

However, the rodent population has seen a significant rise in the suburbs as the rat trappers and junior rats overseers functioning there are only allowed to lay traps.

According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s insecticide department, rats are proliferating at an annual rate of 10%.

In south Mumbai, Ward A (Madanpura, Nagpada, Lamington Road, Tardeo) tops the list with 1.86 lakh rats killed between 2005 and 2009, while B Ward (Masjid, Null Bazaar) comes second with 1.47 lakh rodents killed in the same period.

Statistics revealed that till July this year, 1,64,509 rats were killed. In comparison, around 1.92 lakh rodents were killed in 2009. Officials also said the numbers of those trapped was one-tenth of the actual population.

“These night rat killers will play an important role in eliminating and curbing the rise in the rat population,” said an official requesting anonymity.