Efforts to get rid of rats at railway stations pay off, 10,000 killed

  • Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: May 26, 2016 13:53 IST
Under the project, which was initiated through techniques, provided by the PAU, rat menace will now be dealt with at six more railway stations. (Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu)

The railway authorities, with the help of Punjab Agricultural University, have killed more than 10,000 rodents from Ludhiana and Jalandhar railway stations within a month.

Under the project, which was initiated through techniques, provided by the PAU, rat menace will now be dealt with at six more railway stations — Ferozepur, Amritsar, Jammu, Udhampur, Pathankot and even at the newly constructed Katra station — falling under the Ferozepur division.

The varsity had imparted technical training to the railway staff in killing mice, which create ruckus at the railway stations, by keeping eatables laced with poison on the station premises.

Rats had damaged furniture at station

In past, rats had burrowed holes under railway tracks, weakening their strength, and damaged the underground signalling system of the railways leading to the delay in arrival of many trains.

Since the tracks used to be littered, rats found sufficient food to sustain for a long time. The rats had even damaged official records and furniture at the railway stations. The predominant species of rat, ‘Bandicota bengalensis’, was in abundance at Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Ferozepur railway stations. This species was found only in fields in the state till late 90s. But, when the railway network was extended, these rats started coming to urban areas through railway lines.

Dr Neena Singla, a zoologist at PAU, said, “The teams constituted at Ludhiana and Jalandhar have killed at least 10,000 rats in past one month.”

“The teams used to send pictures of dead rats to us to show success of the project,” said Dr Singla, who was among the scientists who provided technical training to railways.

The technique of preparing poison bait and putting it into the burrows dug up by the rats was taught to railway staff by the PAU experts. Ferozepur division traffic manager (DTM) SP Singh Bhatia said, “There are at least 1,000 rat burrows at Ludhiana railway station and 600 at Jalandhar station.”

The university has also asked the railway authorities to close the sewer holes and start management of garbage at the railway stations.

Bhatia said, “Dead rats in tonnes have been recovered from the railway tracks in past one month. Earlier, rats could be seen roaming at both these railway stations throughout the day, but now only a few rats are seen after sunset. After this success, rodent menace will now be eradicated from six other railway stations of the division.”

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