Jakarta pays res­i­dents to catch rats

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

JAKARTA: In­done­sian cap­i­tal Jakarta, one of the world’s most over­crowded and pol­luted megac­i­ties, has launched a new bid to rid its streets of ver­min – by of­fer­ing res­i­dents 20,000 ru­piah (RM6.30) for ev­ery rat they catch.

Au­thor­i­ties hope the Rat Erad­i­ca­tion Move­ment will help clean up the teem­ing city of about 10 mil­lion where enor­mous ver­min are a com­mon sight on rub­bish­strewn roads and in poor slum ar­eas.

“There are many rats here, and big ones,” Jakarta deputy gover­nor Djarot Sai­ful Hi­dayat was quoted as say­ing on a govern­ment news web­site.

He said a re­cent en­counter with a large rat had in­spired him to start the pro­gramme, adding the ver­min were dan­ger­ous and could spread dis­ease.

The deputy gover­nor did not say how res­i­dents should catch rats and whether they should be dead or alive when handed over to au­thor­i­ties – but urged peo­ple to re­frain from us­ing firearms.

“If pos­si­ble, please do not use guns,” he was quoted as say­ing by the Jakarta Post.

“If you miss your shot, the bul­lets could hit other peo­ple.”

The cap­tured rats will be handed over to lo­cal of­fi­cials, who would dole out the money and pass the an­i­mals to Jakarta’s san­i­ta­tion agency for burial, the news­pa­per said.

There is no guar­an­tee the plan will work – a sim­i­lar scheme in the Viet­namese cap­i­tal Hanoi dur­ing French colo­nial rule back­fired.

Rat catch­ers were re­quired to present the tails as ev­i­dence they had caught the an­i­mals, but in many cases they sim­ply cut off the tail and then re­leased the rats.

The re­leased an­i­mals would re­turn to the sew­ers and breed, mean­ing the pop­u­la­tion of the crea­tures did not fall as in­tended. – AFP

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