With the floodwater receding in the Krishna and life slowly limping back to normalcy, the officials as well as the affected people are faced with the problem of snakes sneaking into inundated houses.
Even as the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials have started looking out for snake catchers, their attempts seem to be bearing no fruits as the handful of snake catchers have apparently migrated to safer places from their flood-ravaged localities.
The officials say they require 6 to 10 snake catchers for deploying them in the flood affected areas in the city. Officials say two to three families of snake catchers used to live near Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) and a few others near Durga Mahal and Sailaja theatres.
But, they were not to be seen now. They plan to bring them from the outskirts of the city.
Officials decided to hire snake catchers as snakebite case was reported from a flood-hit locality in Yanamalakuduru downstream of Prakasam Barrage. A 30-year old person was bitten by the reptile when he was trying to clean his house after the water had receded. He was given first aid and admitted to hospital. People of other localities, both upstream and downstream of the barrage, have been coming across live as well as dead baby pythons and cobras.
Deputy DMHO and flood camp officer Kolli Srikaruna Murthy says floods drive snakes and rodents into areas that they may not venture into normally, such as homes and storage buildings. Floods could cause new infestations of insects, rodents, snakes and other pests that can cause health problems for humans and livestock.
Anti-venom at PHCs
As a precautionary measure, anti-venom has been kept ready at all the Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
There may be an increase in snakes and rodents in homes or near piles of debris outside, around stalled automobiles, near or inside outbuildings or any area that offers shelter, he cautioned.