The meeting of the general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday witnessed some drama when the BJP corporator from R South ward (Kandivali), Kamlesh Yadav, presented a rat in a cage. Yadav said he had brought the rat to protest the BMC’s failure to end rat menace in municipal hospitals. Two women patients were allegedly bitten by rats last week in the BMC-run Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital, Kandivali, also called Shatabdi Hospital.
Claiming that the caged rat was trapped at Shatabdi Hospital, Yadav, said: “When I can catch these rats, why can’t the BMC, which has machinery and the manpower to do it?” The incident has forced the hospital to lay traps and call for support from the insecticide department of the BMC.
According to a medical officer, patients were bitten in female medicine and female orthopedic wards. Both patients are senior citizens and suffered minor injuries on their feet from the bites. “Their treatment is under way,” Dr Pradeep Angre, the medical superintendent, said.
BJP group leader in the BMC, Manoj Kotak ,called it a sorry situation where patients in hospitals recuperating from various ailments are bitten by rats. The BMC has issued a show-cause notice to nine house-keeping agencies and four multi-purpose labour agencies. The civic body also terminated the employment of a security guard and one contract worker for asking patients to pay them money.
Following the rat-biting incidents, the Additional Municipal Commissioner, I A Kundan, visited Shatabdi hospital on Tuesday. She said: “We will send a squad to all civic hospitals to check people throwing garbage, especially leftover food. Fines will be imposed on people found littering.”
In her report, Kundan said around 462 rat entry points were identified and closed in 2016. Rat traps were placed in all the wards. Every day, 15-20 rats are caught. Rat holes and burrows identified in the hospital premises were closed permanently, her report said.