To curb leptospirosis, Mumbai civic body kills 49 rats an hour this year, almost double 2017

Officials from the BMC’s insecticide department said they have killed 2,11,705 rats between January and June. 

mumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2018 12:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Exterminators look for rats, along with civic officials.(HT Photo)

The municipal corporation said it has upped its rat extermination programme to counter leptospirosis.

Officials from insecticide department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said they have killed 2,11,705 rats between January and June.So far, 24 cases and three deaths owing to leptospirosis have been reported in the city.

About the disease
  • Leptospira interrogans bacteria is found in the urine or excreta of infected animals such as rats, cattle and dogs. It spreads mainly during the monsoon, when humans with cuts or abrasions on their skins are exposed to flood water contaminated by the bacteria.

According to BMC, 27 rat killers hired by them exterminated 2,48,284 rats in 2017 during which 239 cases of leptospirosis and seven deaths were reported from the city.On average 28 rats were killed every hour in 2017 as compared to 49 rats every hour this year so far.

Most rats were exterminated in M-East ward (Mankhurd, Govandi and Chembur) 32,935 followed by E ward (Byculla, Mumbai Central and Nagpada) 23,762, N ward (Ghatkopar East) 23685, A ward (Colaba) 23252, and D ward (Mumbai Central and Nagpada) 18,463 wards.

This year, BMC outsourced some of its extermination work to 137 rat killers who were deployed in areas that face frequent waterlogging and flooding.

The five organisations that employ these rat killers have a target of killing 100 rats between 2pm to 7pm. Inability to meet the daily target halves the wage behind every rat — from ₹18 to nine rupees.

“A single pair [of rats] can produce 15,000 offsprings in just one yes. Hence, exterminating them is the best chance of curbing leptospirosis and other hygiene-related issues in the city. Resident participation is the key because unhygienic places with scattered garbage and food items become an ideal environment for rats,” said Dr Rajan Naringrekar, insecticide officer.

He added while the outsourced exterminators have been deployed in five wards for now, the civic body has floated tender to recruit many more for other wards.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 12:24 IST