The Jakarta administration will pay residents to catch rats as part of efforts to curb diseases transmitted by the rodents.
A resident will be paid 20,000 rupiahs (1.5 dollars) for every rat caught and handed over to authorities, said Jakarta deputy governor Djarot Syaiful Hidayat, the Kompas daily reported.
“It is better than hunting Pokemons,” Djarot was quoted as saying by Detik.com.
“People used to hunt for Pokemons in the parks, but now the Pokemon fever is fading. [Catching rats] is more real and beneficial, isn’t it?”
Rats are rampant in densely-populated areas, potentially causing diseases such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, he said.
But some Jakartans are opposed to the idea.
“Mr governor, please don’t go ahead with the plan,” a resident pleaded on Twitter. “People will farm rats, just like what happened in Hanoi.”
French colonizers in Hanoi, Vietnam, introduced a program in which people were paid for each rat tail caught, prompting people to start breeding them.