Instead of the promised 183, the BMC will be deploying a reduced number of night rat killers, who will be concentrated in slums and garbage-laden pockets
Now, every day will be a field day for the city's suburban rats. Going back on its earlier promise, the civic body has decided to reduce the number of rat killers employed in the suburban parts of the city. In contrast to the BMC's earlier plans of appointing 183 night rat killers (NRK) in the suburbs stretching from Bandra to Dahisar, and Sion to Mulund, only 90 NRKs will now be deployed.
Graphic: Jishu Dev Malakar
MiD DAY had earlier reported ('Rat race to end as BMC hires killers,' 29 April) on the 183 posts created by the civic authority for NRKs in the suburban areas, against the 44 rodent assassins in the city proper.
Dr Arun Bamne, insecticide officer, BMC, said, "We had proposed 183 NRKs for the suburbs. But the examining committee rejected the proposal, granted only 90 posts, and asked us to deploy the rodent killers in a more systematic manner. We then drew up a list of suburban regions where the rodent problem is relatively more rampant. The 90 rat killers will be appointed in those regions."
He added that the indiscriminate dumping of garbage by citizens had aggravated the rodent problem in the city. In the last five years, the BMC has successfully eliminated 13,01,129 rats, and claims that their numbers have been declining steadily in recent years. At present, there are a total of 134 rat trappers and 44 rat killers on the BMC's rolls. All the rat killers are posted in the island city, as SoBo reportedly accommodates far more rats than the suburban regions of the city.
"There are more rats in the city proper, because there are many narrow allies, and residents have a bad habit of flinging organic refuse from their windows. It is difficult to clean the narrow lanes, as there is very little space between adjacent buildings. But the corporation would be appointing rat killers in the suburbs for the first time, since complaints have been coming in from those areas well. Citizens should not dump garbage wherever they please, if they want respite form the menace of the rodents," said BMC's Standing Committee Chairperson Rahul Shewale.
Meet the night rat killer The monthly salary of a night rat killer is Rs 5,000. The employee gets a commission of 25 paise per rat, once the initial target of 30 rats is achieved. Unlike trappers, a killer is required to eliminate the rodent on sight. The NRK should be physically fit, and be able to lift a minimum weight of 50 kg. He should have passed standard IV.
Rs 1.77 Cr The amount spent last year to eliminate the rodent menace
Did you know? In February 2010, 33 night rat killers were appointed, after 20 long years.