The Western Railway, one of the smallest zones of the railway which mainly runs trains connecting western India to North has in an RTI reply said that it has spent Rs 1,52,41,689 for pest control in its premises. Having said that, the RTI reply states that after spending this amount, the Western Railway has managed to kill only 5,457 rodents.
On average, it appears that every day the Western Railway spends Rs 14,000 just for pest control in yard and railway coaches and kills five rats per day on an average after spending this amount. However, Chief Public Relation Officer Ravinder Bhakar said that it was unfair to make this comparison.
Ravinder Bhakar said, “It is not right to compare the expenditure with the number of rodents killed. This data cannot be quantified if we look at what all has been gained. In the last two years, the number of signal failures because of rats cutting wires has drastically reduced compared to earlier years among other things.”
To control the menace of pests and rodents in railway coaches and yards, railways hires specialised agencies which carry out pest and rodent control in railway rolling stock, station premises and adjoining yards.
Various techniques such as deploying bats, glue boards, approved chemicals, traps etc are deployed to ensure effective control over the pest and rodent problem.
For this purpose, a schedule has been prepared for the treatment of each primarily maintained train. Dry sweeping is done in every coach before it is given a disinfestation treatment. Periodically, chemicals are changed to ensure the effectiveness of treatment.
In case of pantry cars, a complete coach is vacated at the platform, intensive cleaning done and fumigation carried out and then the pantry car is sealed and locked for 48 hours. All this is done at specified intervals. Moreover, borrow mapping and treatment is done in yards.