Rodents continue to gnaw a hole into the civic infrastructure, but Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has so far not deemed it fit to recruit rat killers for the suburban areas.
The corporation had earlier planned to draft 90 exterminators for the eastern parts, from Kurla to Mulund, and from Bandra to Dahisar in the west. But not one person has been hired so far. Councillors from suburban areas have been demanding rat killers for their neighbourhoods for some time now.
BMC’s health department had initiated the process of enrolment almost two years ago, which is yet to produce results. Since 2006, the civic body has spent over Rs 10 crore on trapping and killing rats across the city.
Currently, BMC has 134 rat trappers and 44 rat killers; the latter are all deployed in the island city. That’s because the corporation feels the city has a larger rat population than the suburbs. “The house gullies (narrow spaces between two old buildings), usually full of garbage, lead to breeding of rats in the island city,” said a civic official on condition of anonymity.
Anuradha Pednekar, former health committee chairperson and a member of standing committee, has been persuading the BMC administration to appoint rat killers in the suburbs. Pednekar, who represents Kurla area, also affected by the rodent menace, said, “I have already raised the issue in the standing committee meeting and will keep tracking this.”
Dhananjay Pisal, Nationalist Congress Party leader in BMC from the suburbs, says he will write to the municipal commissioner, asking him to speed up the recruitment process.
>> 44: No of BMC-appointed rat killers in Island city
>> 2 lakh: No of rats killed by the civic body every year
>> Rs 5,000: Monthly salary of a rat killer
>> 25 paise: The commission a rat
killer gets on each rodent after exterminating 30 in a night