Haryana Police raises a special rat force

The Haryana Police has been fighting a losing battle with rats that have eaten their way through official files and records.....

Written by Gautam Dheer | Chandigarh | Published:March 8, 2009 1:47 am

The Haryana Police has been fighting a losing battle with rats that have eaten their way through official files and records. But their reinforcements have finally arrived: two white mice. Karnal Police obviously believes that in a rat-eat-rat world only the white mice can chase away the rats from their offices.

Karnal SSP A.S. Chawla said: “We have brought two white rats on a trial basis. We have been told that white mice do not eat paper and cloth and are a deterrent for the black ones.” They have started the project,he said,as an experiment after consulting veterinary experts. “We hope this experiment delivers results so that we can introduce it elsewhere too.”

Deputy Zoologist at the Punjab Agriculture University,Ludhiana,Dr Neena Singla,who has conducted extensive research on rodents,said white rats are invariably more robust than the black ones and that there exists a sort of ‘competition’ between the two,which leads one to drive away the other. “The genes are the same but the species is different which leads to this pattern. Even in research books,there is a reference to this method of pitting one against the other,being used in Europe. But,it’s a matter of experimentation,” she said.

Karnal Police isn’t alone in being traumatised by rats. They’ve made life equally miserable for the government in Punjab prompting the state Heath Minister to say,“It has been 15 years since we controlled terrorism,but we still have not been able to control rats.”

Her cabinet colleague Jalmegha Singh Sekhon couldn’t agree more. “Apart from damaging crops in godowns,rats along canals and water channels gnaw away at their sides which is aggravating the flood problem.”

While the Punjab Government is still looking for a solution,Northern Railways recently pledged a Rs 17-lakh contract to a pest control company to get rid of the army of rats that’s been nibbling its cable lines away.

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