Authorities fail to deter rodents from Alhamra

LAHORE: Alhamra, the cultural capital of Lahore, is overrun with rats, which can be seen racing through Alhamra’s café, halls, art gallery, and administration offices. Many café and hall visitors have complained about the rodents scurrying around and feeding on leftovers. However, the Alhamra administration has never tried to put in any effort to eradicate the vermin. Though the animal can be seen roaming freely on the complex, the backside of the café is the safest haven for the eyesore. The area is used for various functions, such as music concerts, seminars, literary conferences, and theatrical activities. Many Alhamra employees informed Dawn, on the condition of anonymity, that the rat menace has existed for years and that their presence has now outnumbered the human presence. The largest rats’ habitat is discovered behind the café, in the back area; the rats are so overweight that they crawl with difficulty. The nearby Alhamra Unplugged Studio and the Alhamra Academy of Performing Art classes are also infested with rodent residents; when students take dancing lessons, rats also come to watch them as rainwater and drain water frequently accumulate due to drainage concerns. According to sources, rats blight the cultural hub of the city because of the easy availability of food, which comes in the form of visitors’ leftovers. Even though edibles are prohibited in the halls, people manage to bring eatables inside and therefore provide a food source for rats.No corner of the complex is free of rats, be it the well-guarded “Minister Block” or art galleries. The art gallery is possibly the most sensitive site on the Alhamra premises, where artists leave their works for exhibitions and shows. Rats were also discovered in the art gallery. Rat bites could cause harm to artwork worth millions of rupees. The rat’s ‘impact’ is not limited to Alhamra. The scourge is found at Alhamra Cultural Complex. Assistant Director Khurram Naveel told Dawn that the council was taking the issue seriously and that all conceivable measures would be taken to rid Alhamra of the mouse menace, one of which would be fumigation, which would take place next week.

Monday, January 9, 2023