The royal city of Punjab, Patiala, may soon need a squad of cats or eagles or a pied piper from Hamelin to deal with the alarming increase in rodent population in some areas of the old city.
Blaming it on the construction of roads by interlocking of tiles, residents of the old city are finding themselves helpless against the increasing population of rats.
They say, "As the roads are constructed on a layer of sand so it is easy for rats to make a path from one corner to another."
A resident of Bhindian street, Ved Prakash, said that every morning areas around gutters are full of heaps of earth near burrows. This indicates the presence of rodents.
A resident of Gher Sodian Wala, Govind Singh of Bedi Tailors, said, "When I go for a walk at around 10:30 pm, sighting of mouse colonies is quite common. Kids enjoy watching them, crossing roads and jumping from one corner to another and climbing up and down the outlet pipes. One day , we saw a rat jumping from the electricity meter installed outside one of the houses. The rising population of rats is really a cause of concern."
Another resident of Bhindian street, Rajinder Kapoor, said, "One day, when we were cleaning the house, we saw some droppings and nibbled corners on some of my documents. They left plenty of evidence of their presence. When we poisoned them, we traced nearly 20 to 25 dead rats. Though, there is no immediate threat, rats' population needs to be curbed. If we killed around two dozens, you can imagine how many are there in a street of hundreds of houses."
A couple said, "If they lock their house for two days, they find it difficult to enter as it stinks like a dead animal. These creatures are a serious threat to our property. They are in constant search of food and eat away anything and everything."
Apart from the stink and rodents burrowing the floors, the major problems can be cutting of wires and damage to our vehicles.
Residents feel at the end of the day, they will be the ones who will face the music.
However, the residents have never approached the municipal corporation for a solution. Residents of the old city feel the operation to check rodent population should be launched soon.
When contacted, municipal corporation commissioner Indu Malhotra said residents have not approached then so far. However, she promised to deal with the situation before it becomes a menace.