Fear of mice has Gorges heavies crying for help

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 12:00am

Heavyweights behind the mighty Three Gorges dam project appear to be afraid of a mouse - mice actually, and lots of them.

Officials in Chongqing are calling for help from specialists around the country to remove mice and rats from the area to be flooded as a result of the massive dam project.

They also are preparing to buy poison to kill off the pests before the water rises in the huge lake that will be created upstream of the dam.

'We will hold an open tender for the poison in the near future,' an official in the Three Gorges office of Infectious Disease Control said.

'Afterwards we will have to go out and collect the dead mice. We can't leave them in the water.'

City officials said they hoped experts from other areas would give advice on the eradication and help evaluate their efforts.

Chongqing's large rural areas are where most of the flooding from the massive project will occur. More than one million people will be forced from their homes, most of them in farmland that technically belongs to the municipality.

Officials said they would use a 'low-intensity' pesticide not poisonous to humans.

The Chongqing Evening News reported there were more than 53,000 main areas where mice and rats had to be eradicated before flooding began in the middle of next year.