Rats and stray dogs have made life miserable for people in parts of Jammu with the local municipality confessing that the rodent invasion is not only "causing nuisance" to citizens but even damaging the foundations of buildings in this city of six million people.
The Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) says that the old city of Jammu has been virtually taken over by rodents.
The rats "have invaded every lane and drain and are causing nuisance to the inhabitants besides damaging the foundations of the buildings", the corporation has told the chief minister's secretariat. The municipality's anti-rat drive of the last two years has proved a near failure - despite giving away over 60,000 anti-rodent pills.
The municipality's admission follows RTI activist Raman Sharma's petition seeking the intervention of the Jammu and Kashmir health department and the Jammu municipality to declare war on rodents.
"We have tried our level best but now it is not in the hands of citizens. Therefore, we want the intervention of the government and its agencies," Sharma said in his petition.
Sharma fears epidemics.
The corporation is also grappling with the menace of stray dogs.
JMC Commissioner K.L. Khajuria told IANS: "We do not have an estimate on the number of stray dogs in the city but are very sure that their population is rising by the day."
Khajuria said about 20 cases of dog bites were reported daily in the city.
The municipality has started sterilising stray dogs as it cannot kill or castrate them.
Worse, it has no space to provide shelter to strays it can catch.