SHAMLI: In order to curb the menace of rodents near the tracks at several railway stations in UP, the government railway police (GRP) has been roped in to prevent people from releasing caged rats in its vicinity.
In Shamli, for instance, the administration has even installed boards with warnings against the practice.
Railway traffic in-charge (Shamli), Omveer Singh, told TOI on Saturday: “These rats often dig tunnels underneath the tracks posing a grave threat to its stability, besides entering homes of railway employees residing near the stations.”
Circle officer (GRP-Shamli railway station), Dharmender Kumar Yadav, said, “Many stations in the state face the rodent problem. I’ve recently been transferred from Ghaziabad and the same issue persists there as well. We have warned strict action against those who prefer to release caged rats at the railway station because it is convenient to them. We have provision to book the culprit under section 34 of the Police Act.”
Divisional railway manager (commercial-Moradabad), Sudhir Kumar, with at least 200 railway stations in west UP under his jurisdiction, said, “Apart from causing colossal damages like destruction of parcels and grain cartons, and digging under the tracks, these rodents adversely impact the signalling system on the basis of which the entire management of train movements and changing of tracks are dependent on.”
He added: “To make matters worse, these rodents are not the kind we see in our homes. They are very big in size and have the capacity to inflict considerable damage. Hence, we give annual contracts to agencies in key railway stations for cleanliness and rodent management.”
Apart from the rail department, those living nearby, including shop-owners, face a big problem. Praveen Kumar, who runs a shop outside the Meerut railway station, said, “There is no place where these rats cannot go. We face regular nibbling of our stock despite taking all the necessary precautions. And the losses are sometimes huge.”
Not just in UP, rodent menace is a perennial problem for the Railways in the country.
In fact, an RTI answer had revealed that “Western Railway authorities had spent Rs 1.5 crore to trap 5,457 rats in three years, till 2019”.
The number doesn’t include the ones that died in burrows or elsewhere due to different methods deployed by the agencies.





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