Patna: In a public statement made last week, the Bihar police claimed that the bulk of the illicit liquor seized last year had been wiped off by rats. With the sobriety of the rats turning into a ‘high’ level matter, the state government has sprung into action. The state government in a high-level cabinet meeting yesterday decided to open up alcohol deaddiction centres for the affected rat population.
A senior official remarked that the current administration is committed to ensuring the welfare of all its constituents. He further added that the present government believes in the “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” slogan in execution too unlike their rivals. A detailed announcement is expected on the matter in the coming days. As part of the initial phase, five rehabilitation centres are scheduled to be opened. Discussions are still on in regards to the allocation of centres between the two coalition partner constituencies.
The proposal has also found broad support among certain sections of the bureaucracy. Lallan Yadav, a corrupt FCI (Food Council of India) officer (name changed) commented that it had become a bureaucratic hassle to pilfer tonnes of grain under the guise of rat infestation in the current scenario. With, the rats frequenting alcohol storing godowns, officials have been finding themselves hard pressed to defend themselves. They have had to invest new pest species, and in particular, cases blame the problem on the migration of rats from other states. However, with the new initiative, they are hopeful that things will revert to as they originally were.
The opposition, however, criticised the new action of government as anti-poor. Raju Bhaiya, MLA of the TGB, remarked that with the rats being in an addicted condition, the damage to foodgrains and crops by their population had dropped drastically. In such a situation rehabilitation of rats may again leave the poorer sections of society at the mercy of rats. Individual community groups have opposed the move too. Aashish Kumar stated that the move gives validation to the assertion of rats having consumed the illicit liquor. This implication has hurt their community sentiments as indicating rats, considered as an embodiment of the sacred vehicle of their God, would have never touched alcohol
In such a situation, only the coming months will reveal how successful this new initiative of the state government turns out to be.