Are rats multiplying faster than humans in Mumbai?

 Mumbai
Are rats multiplying faster than humans in Mumbai?

# 81000 rats exterminated in four months in Mumbai.

3750 rodent complaints in four months.  900 rodent complaints continue to pour in every month

If you haven't been worried about the growing menace of rats in the city, it's perhaps time you should be.

These little creatures that thrive on dumping grounds, under trash heaps and in the sprawling drainage underbelly of Mumbai, have been multiplying at a fast clip. The fact that they are the prime carriers of Xenopsylla Cheopis that causes leptospirosis and spreads quickly through rat urine has been a cause of concern for civic authorities for long.

The BMC has been waging a war against the pests by employing an army of rat killers, the strength of which fluctuates from time to time. It also employs rat traps, rat poison, fumigation. But the most effective way till date has been the stick-wielding rat killer, who descends into unholy manholes to trace the rodents and smash it with the stick.

Even this drive lacks teeth at times. Recently, the civic administration admitted that Rats in Only Five Wards Face the Stick.

According to civic statistics, 2,10,737 rats were killed in the calendar year 2016, on the basis of 10,551 complaints from citizens. In the four months from January to April 2017, 81,050 rats were killed, on the basis of 3715 complaints.

Here's what the civic pest control department head Rajan Naringrekar says. Each pair of rodents can end up reproducing 15000 more. A female rodent can give birth to five to 14 babies at a time. The babies reach reproductive age in five weeks.

Needless to say, garbage heaps and piles accumulated by littering are magnets for breeding rats. So do we say that litterbug Mumbaikars are responsible for the fast increasing rat population in our metropolis?

If the onset of the rains and the ensuing threat of leptospirosis scares you, pause and think of the cause too.

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