Infestation of large rats has prompted authorities to offer monetary awards for their removal.
Authorities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have announced a bounty for killing rats after receiving hundreds of complaints of rodents infesting capital Peshawar.
Rats described as being up to 12 inches long are making life miserable in Peshawar, residents said. They are so huge that “even cats are scared of them,” Hammad Khan, a Peshawar resident, told AFP on Thursday, adding that the rodents were gnawing “everything: food, clothes, even damaging the structure of the house.”
Residents said the toothy creatures make their home in an open sewer, which flows through the city, and come out at night, scurrying about poor neighborhoods. “We were receiving such complaints constantly and that’s why we announced the reward,” said district mayor Arbab Mohammad Asim.
The bounty was set at Rs. 25 in most parts of the city, though in some areas it goes up to Rs. 300, officials said. “We are hopeful that it will help in getting rid of these huge rats,” said Asim.
Provincial minister Inayatullah Khan said a committee has been formed to find out what is driving the infestation, though residents said it was likely recent monsoon rains had sent the rodents scurrying into the city.
Khan also said the committee would chalk out plans for “complete elimination” of the pests. He also confirmed local media reports that at least five babies have died in the last three years after being bitten by rats.