Indian Rat Surveillance Department Comes Under Fire

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The Hindustan Times, which I of course read religiously, reported Monday that the New Delhi city government agency that is responsible for catching rats apparently has not actually caught any rats at all in over ten years.

Although (according to the report) rats are plentiful in New Delhi (they tend to carry the plague) and the city pays 97 rat catchers the equivalent of $77 per month to go catch them, the newspaper was unable to find any records of any rodents being apprehended during the past decade. That works out to $896,280 spent over that time for no result. Officials were quoted as claiming that they do set up traps when they get reports of rats in other government departments, but then could not recall when or where they had last done so.

Based on the name of the agency, the “Rat Surveillance Department,” actually catching the rats may be outside its jurisdiction. Maybe RSD officials have been carefully keeping tabs on New Delhi’s rats for ten years, waiting for a bureaucrat to create and fund a Rat Apprehension Department that would actually solve the problem.

AP via