Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Delhi's Ratless Rat-Catchers: None for a Decade


According to an AP report in the Boston Globe, New Delhi has a rat-catching department, 97 workers strong, that hasn't caught a single rat in the last decade.

This city department saw a lot of rats in their traps in 1994, during a plague outbreak near the capital, The Hindustan Times newspaper reported. But even though rats are still widespread in the city, and can be seen scurrying in the streets, officials in the department "couldn't recall when or where they had last set up a trap," the newspaper said.
Many residents use their own traps to catch rats in the absence of any government effort to catch the rodents, which often carry diseases, including the plague.

New Delhi officials were not immediately available for comment, but the daily quoted officials as saying that whenever they receive complaints about rodents in other government departments, they set up traps to catch them.

New Delhi's rat-catchers are being paid around $77 per month to not set traps, not ferret out rat nests, and not catch rats.

Perhaps they should consider outsourcing.

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