Monday, 30th October 2017

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Snake seen slithering among files at Secretariat

Officials afraid to sit in office or go to loft to search for records

By Dev Raj in Patna
  • Published 7.10.18, 1:06 AM
  • Updated 7.10.18, 1:06 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The Secretariat File picture

A snake is lurking among the old files and records in the old secretariat and officials are spending jittery days for weeks.

The 101-year-old Secretariat houses the offices of chief minister Nitish Kumar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, chief secretary Deepak Kumar besides important departments. Since a couple of weeks ago, the reptile — not bound to pathways meant for humans — has left the planning and development department officials in fear.

It is feared — and seen — slithering among old files and records kept in almirahs, cupboards and racks on a loft in the staff hall, where over 40 employees in the department sit and work. The officials are so afraid that they are giving trips to the loft for old documents a miss.

“We first saw a fresh snake skin among the files a couple of weeks ago, and were taken aback. Later, a few of our colleagues sighted the snake slithering among the files. We are now mortally afraid of going to the loft to fish out files and records. We are even afraid to sit in the office — you never know where the snake could be hiding,” one of the officials in the department told The Telegraph on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Joint director, planning and development, Indrajit Chaurasia said though he has not seen the reptile that is wreaking havoc on his department’s mind, there are all the tell-tale signs of its presence — in the form of the skin.

“The snake skin was there, and the employees were afraid to take the wooden ladder to the loft. We wrote a letter to the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park asking it to send a rescue team to find and take away the reptile. It came to the office on Saturday,” Indrajit said.

The skin was recently removed from the premises. But the wildlife rescue team from Patna zoo spent hours searching for the snake in every corner of the department on Saturday and returned empty-handed.

Zoo director Amit Kumar said: “We had received a letter from the department and sent an animal rescue team to search for it. The team members spent around two hours but could not find it.”

Looks like the employees — hoping for a rescue — will have some more anxious days before them. Unless the snake has found its way

into the foliage in and around the building or moved to another department.