Maharashtra Rat Scam: Pest Control Company That Claimed Killing 3 Lakh Rats In 7 Days Does Not Exist
March 29th, 2018
Citing a government response to an RTI, former revenue minister and senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse alleged a scam on Thursday when records revealed that a private pest control company claimed to kill 3,19,400 rats in just seven days in the state secretariat in Mumbai. Khadse, speaking at the state legislative assembly, said that in 2016, a private company won the contract for pest control at the state secretariat and was paid at the rate of Rs 1.5 per rat.
As The Indian Express reports, BJP MLA Charansingh Waghmare, who sought information on the alleged irregularities under RTI, said, “The contract was given to a Labour Society. It was for six months. It was reduced to two months. However, the company claimed the work was over within seven days. The bill book shows the work was done within the period between May 3 and May 10, 2016.”
During a discussion on budgetary demands, Khadse further pointed out the statistical improbabilities. “It means it (contractor) killed 45,628.57 rats a day. Those 0.57 must be the new-born ones. It also means the company killed 31.68 rats every minute. Their weight was around 9,125.71 kg and every day one truck was required to take dead rats out of Mantralaya, the state secretariat. However, it is not known where they were disposed of.” He evoked some laughter in assembly when he suggested that the Fadnavis-led BJP government would have been better off letting ten cats loose in Ministry rather than hiring a private contractor.
The former minister added, “it is very surprising that this company killed over three lakh rats in just seven days while the BMC took two years to kill six lakh rats (in the whole of Mumbai). There is a discrepancy in the claim made by the company,” reports NDTV
It is hard to ascertain, and even more surprising, a staggering number of rodents roaming the secretariat in a state which has the highest state wise GDP or the supposed mass killings of more than 3 lakh rats in merely a week. This work order was issued by the General Administration Department after a survey showed the presence of more than 3 lakh rats in the Manytalaya. Maharashtra minister of state for GAD, Madan Yerawar said on Thursday, “The government will probe the matter to ascertain the facts about the company, tender process and job.”
As reported in The Times of India, Eknath Khadse further alleged that the company did not have a license or permission to place poison in Mantralaya building and it was from this stock of poison that Dharma Patil, a farmer grieved over land acquisition committed suicide at the state secretariat in January.
Firm does not exist
Vinayak Majoor Sahakari Santha (VMSS), the company that was hired to exterminate rats in Mantralaya, allegedly does not exist at the address mentioned in the contract, reported The Hindu.
The director of the company, Amol Shedge, died in 2008 and since then the family has no knowledge about who is running the business by forging his signature. They were under the impression that VMSS had been closed down.
“One of our acquaintances, Waman Deokar, took the company’s documents from us and said he would help us if we needed his assistance,” said Amol’s brother, Vinay Shedge.
“Either [Mr. Deokar] was lying and kept us in the dark or someone else used the [company’s] name. Hence, we have decided to approach the government directly in Monday with the documents available with us,” he continued.