Filthy tracks help more rats to breed at Tatanagar
Present-day Pied Pipers, you have a rat challenge at Tatanagar that easily compares to Hamelin’s horror.
For the first time, Chakradharpur railway division will issue a tender to get Tatanagar rodent-free.
The firm employed via the tender will be in charge of the rodent control programme for three years, starting April 1.
Reality being more prosaic than poetry, the chosen firm will do more than play a pipe. Wooden or iron plates smeared with adhesives will be out at strategic sites to trap rats.
“The matter is serious. We will issue a Rs 9-lakh tender for the task of making A-list Tatanagar free of rats,” Chakradharpur division senior divisional commercial manager K.N. Biswas said.
“Rodents are everywhere on Tatanagar premises, but they are most menacing at the coaching yard, waiting room and parcel office,” he added.
On the havoc they cause, he enumerated a lengthy list.
“Rats disturb sleeping passengers at the waiting room. We’ve received complaints of fingernails been bitten off by rats. They damage railway property and goods at the parcel office. They nibble at food everywhere, be it passengers’ tiffin, railway canteen, pantry cars or restaurants,” he said.
He added that the coaching yard was Tatanagar’s most vulnerable spot. “Pantry cars are located close to the yard. So, tummy full, the rats go on a rampage in the yard,” he said.
He sounded hopeful that the adhesive method would trap rats. “Once rodents are stuck, they will be taken away and killed.”
The reason rat poison is not being considered is because rodents scuttle away and die at various places, making their recovery a nightmare.
“Dead rats rotting in a corner will create a hygiene havoc,” he said. “Glue is better.”
Sources said in 2011, following a report of The Telegraph on the rodent menace in Tatanagar, the division had appointed a private agency. “It succeeded in eliminating rats temporarily,” the source said.