Temple city of Jammu seems to be in a desperate need of a modern day pied piper as cat-sized rats have literally invaded the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
More than 65,000 anti-rodent pills have been used to kill the rats in the city for the last two years. In response to a complaint by the RTI activist Raman Sharma, Jammu Municipal Corporation has informed the chief minister’s grievance cell that in 2011, 35,230 anti-rodent were used for killing rats and till November 2012, 30,700 pills have been used to combat the menace.
“The old city particularly is under the attack from rodents. These rats are so fat that even cats are finding it difficult to catch them. If cats fail, you can well imagine what will be the state of the humans? Even 65,000 anti-rodent doses used by Jammu Municipal Corporation over the last two years have failed to eliminate rats in the old city,” Sharma said.
Sharma has also written to the chief minister’s grievance cell seeking immediate intervention as they fear an epidemic-like situation in the old Jammu city.
“We have tried our level best but in vain. Therefore, we want the intervention of the state government and its agencies to help the citizenry from this nightmare. Our children are not safe. Even our homes are not safe because they have made holes and carters in the plinths making the structures vulnerable,” he said.
Jammu municipality, however, played down the issue saying there is no threat of epidemic in the temple city. “Every month we receive 10 to 15 complaints from people including former corporators (about the rodents). Each month we might be distributing 3,000 to 4,000 anti-rodent pills. Our boys go to the wards and plant these pills nears the holes to get rid of the rodents”, said PR Bharati of Jammu municipal veterinary officer.