Wanna be a Pied Piper?

Yes, BMC is giving all Mumbaikars a chance to be the Pied Piper of the city. Frankly speaking 5 years back when I first came to this city, one thing that freaked me out were the number of rats and their sizes. Have never seen such big rats in my life!
Anyways BMC is hoping that Mumbaikars will participate in its campaign against rodents, which isn’t going too far even with dedicated squads working through the night. They are going ot reward Rs 5 Per dead rat. In order to claim the money for each one of your victims, all you have to do is produce the rat’s body at the local ward office.

Here is the article from Mumbai Mirror with a speacial lesson in “How to kill a rat?

In a city forever on the lookout for quick-buck ideas, here’s one from the BMC: kill a rat, and get Rs 5 for it.

Don’t sneeze. Given Mumbai’s rat population — nine crore at the moment — there’s Rs 45 crore to be made out of rat-slaughter.

The BMC hopes this ‘incentive’ — it earlier paid 50 paise only for every rat killed — will move ordinary Mumbaikars enough to participate in its campaign against rodents, which isn’t going too far even with dedicated squads working through the night.

In order to claim the money for each one of your victims, all you have to do is produce the rat’s body at the local ward office (Mumbai has 24 ward offices). And if you’ve smashed the rodent beyond recognition with a stick or a stone, don’t worry, you don’t have to carry the mutilated body all the way to the ward office. If you just show the civic officials the tail, it’s proof enough; the money will be paid to you in cash immediately.

But here’s a warning for those who might be excited about the idea: rat-killing is not easy.

Nearly 70 rat-catchers employed by the BMC move around the city every night. They have managed to trap only 12,329 rodents so far this year, and the number of rats they’ve killed by placing poison near rat-holes is so negligible that the civic body still doesn’t have a head- or, rather, tail-count.

Ashok Adsule, pesticide officer of BMC, said it is necessary to pull Mumbaikars into the campaign because rats act as carriers of various diseases like leptospirosis, plague, and salmonellosis (fever with diarrhoea) and can also cause rat-bite fever and murine typhus (a type of fever).

In the last five years, the BMC’s rat-catching squads have poisoned 9,60,024 rodents to death and trapped and killed 2,87,898 more. “The BMC’s squads target rats in many ways. They either keep a poisonous substance in rat-holes, spray poisonous gas inside these holes or kill rats by sheer intimidation in the night by flashing torchlights on them and then hitting them with a stick,” Adsul said.

But these statistics can’t even compare with the way the rat population grows.

Rats are not only great survivors and breeders, but a female rat can have as many as five litters a year, with up to 10 young ones or more per litter. A single pair of rats can produce 700 offspring in a year, experts say.

In case people complain of rats in their houses, traps are kept there for three consecutive days, and sometimes, such traps are placed in a number of houses in the same locality, officials said.

Rats killed or found dead by the BMC are collected and taken to the dissection centre at Parel’s Haffkine Institute, where some rats are dissected by researchers for the purpose of study. The others are then buried deep in the Deonar dumping ground.

Knowing the exact number of rodents in the city is impossible, but an estimate is made on the basis of the number of burrows.

How to kill a rat
(By an expert rat-catcher for the BMC)

Rats usually step out of the burrows/holes late in the night. They generally move about not on big roads but in house gullies or small streets, and can especially be seen near any kind of garbage.

The trick is to first scare them. This can be done by flashing a torchlight on them all of a sudden. This makes most rats immobile for a moment; they are almost paralysed due to fear. That’s precisely the moment to strike, preferably with a good stick. But even there, your aim’s got to be right. You have to aim at the rat’s head. If you get the timing right, you’ve got your rat.

Happy rat hunting Mumbai!

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