DNA | Last Modified - Aug 29, 2012, 05:34 AM IST
Jaipur: Hundreds of rats have died in the water-logged Walled City over the past few days. Not willing to take a chance, the district administration has sent the dead mice to a lab in Bangalore for testing.
Nobody is willing to mention the plague word, yet, but residents fear the death of rodents is an ominous sign.
Dr BR Meena, director of public health department, says his field unit is monitoring the situation on daily basis. “We have sent samples of the dead rodents for an autopsy to the animal husbandry department,” he said.
“Samples have also been dispatched to a testing laboratory in Bangalore for interpreting the situation,” he said.
Officials are wary of pronouncing a health scare due to the dead mice, but are on their toes after residents brought to their notice carcasses of pigs and stray dogs also floating in the rainwater that has flowed into the man-made lake.
Local ward commissioner Kailash Mahawat says he has written to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation on the issue, but help has not yet arrived. “I have informed the CEO Loknath Soni on fears of plague in the area due to mass death of rats, but the JMC has not taken any initiative to clean up the lake or remove the bodies from it,” Mahawat adds.
Talkatora Lake has around 1500 to 2000 people living around it. Water level in the lake is now eight feet high after recent spell of heavy rains. But, the lake has become a curse for the locals. “The dried-up lake was better on hindsight. Now we are worrying over the health risk it poses to our families,” Ramdas Agrawal, a sixty-year-old resident of Talkatora colony told us.
"The odour coming of the dead animals floating in water is making our lives a hell; My wife lives in constant terror of our children falling to some water-borne disease,” says Rakesh Meena, another resident.
Health director, BR Meena refuses a plague in the making, but admits the lake is breeding ground for seasonal diseases, particularly malaria and dengue. He says, “We are taking measures to ensure the dirty water in lake does not lead to spread of diseases in the area.”