MUMBAI: Amid the ongoing controversy over how 3 lakh rats were killed in just seven days in Mumbai, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Ram Kadam has issued a clarification. The minister said that 3,19,400 is the number of tablets that were used and not the rats that were killed.
"3,19,400 rats is the number of rat killing tablets and not the number of rats. There's no machine to count the number of rats. People assumed that 45,000 rats were killed every day, this is false," Ram Kadam said. He also added that these rat killing tablets were procured in 2010-11 at the rate of Rs 1.50. "It's like making a mountain out of a molehill," he added.
The issue was brought to light by senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse who had demanded an inquiry into the way a contract to kill rats in Mantralaya was executed. Speaking in the Assembly, he had said: "How could the company which was given the contract to kill 3,19,400 rats in Mantralaya accomplish the task in a mere seven days."
"A survey found that there were 3,19,400 rats in Mantralaya. A work order was issued by the General Administration Department. The company was given six months. But it claimed to have killed them in just seven days," Khadse had said saying that it means 45,628.57 rats were killed every day.
He had also suggested in a lighter vein that the government could have deployed ten cats to do the job instead of hiring a private firm.