Chennai: A young cobra about four feet long caused panic at the VIP gate of State secretariat in Fort St George on Wednesday. The women constables on duty nearby raised alarm when they saw the snake trying to go up the steps and gain entry to the office from the Assembly/Press Room side.
“We immediately alerted our superior officers and also the fire service. The snake by then had curled up in a corner, perhaps wanting to get out the reach of the disturbing humans”, said a policewoman, sounding very excited.
She said the security personnel and others gathered at the place were “very scared and quite concerned that the snake might enter the office and disappear into the scattered furniture and files”. If such a ‘calamity’ happened, it would have been net to impossible to trap the reptile.
“We usually find many rats, some of them as huge as bandicoots, running here and there, and making noise as they ran over the false ceilings in the secretariat departments. Luckily, we have not encountered any snake coming for these rats, so far”, said a Secretariat staffer. He pointed out that the offices were almost empty since it was a government holiday owing to Muharram.
A police officer on frequent guard duty at the main entrance said there “are many snakes in the wild plant growth around the Fort St George” and neither the Army, which owns and controls the area, nor the government that has occupied most of the space for its many departments, have cared to keep the surroundings free of rodents and hunting snakes....