In a startling revelation, BJP leader Eknath Khadse alleged Thursday that the company awarded a contract for pest control in the state secretariat has claimed that it killed 3,19,400 rats in seven days. The work order to a private company was given by the General Administration Department of the Maharashtra government, under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
A former minister, Khadse told the Vidhan Sabha there was something rotten which needed a thorough investigation to get to the rats playing hide and seek in government’s headquarters at Mantralaya, the state secretariat.
“A company which was given the award for killing rats has claimed it killed 3,19,400 rats within seven days in Mantralaya,” he said. Raising more questions, he said, “Can there be so many rats in Mantralaya? And would it be ever possible to execute such an exercise within seven days.”
Dismissing such statistics and claims as bizarre, he said, “The government should conduct a probe in the entire matter.”
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has managed to kill six lakh rats in two years in the entire city of Mumbai, he said, which begs the question of where has the private company spotted so many rodents. The GAD issued the work order to the company based on a survey which allegedly said there were 3,19,400 rats in Mantralaya and the company was given six months to get rid of them all.
If these statistics are true, it means “They had to kill 45,628.57 rats a day. Now, those 0.57 must be the new born ones,” Khadse said. He also said that it must be a super-efficient company to have been able to kill 31.68 rats every half minute, evoking laughter in the state Assembly.
“The total weight of these rats which were killed would be 9,125.71 kg. It would mean one truck would be required to carry the dead rodents and get them disposed.” Strangely, he said, nobody in the Mantralaya had seen this exercise conducted.
Unwilling to let the issue go, Khadse wondered why the government did not deploy ten cats to do the job. Now, if they had set the cats loose it would have worked effectively and free of cost, he said.
In his reply to a debate on budgetary demands, Maharastra minister of state for GAD, Madan Yerawar said, “The government will probe the matter to ascertain the facts about the company, tender process and job.”
BJP MLA Charansingh Waghmare, who sought information on the alleged irregularities under RTI said, “The contract was given to a Labour Society. It was for six months. It was reduced to two months. But the company claimed the work was over within seven days. The bill book shows the work was done within the period between May 3 and May 10, 2016.”
He also said, “ There was no tendering process was followed. I have already complained this matter to Chief Minister’s Office. I have sought a probe.”