The forensic science laboratory for Doaba region will now come up at the Kapurthala Modern Jail instead of Jalandhar as the Punjab government had claimed earlier.
The state government on Wednesday had announced after a cabinet meeting that the laboratory for the region will come up in Jalandhar besides with Bathinda and Patiala.
Earlier, the state government had identified the ESI building, which is lying unused for last several years, for setting up the laboratory.
Deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav said earlier there was plans to set up the lab at the local ESI hospital but now Kapurthala jail has been chosen for the purpose.
Jail superintendent Paramjeet Singh said, “A meeting was held in Chandigarh 10 days ago in which deputy commissioners of Jalandhar and Kapurthala were also present.”
He said an eight-room building lying vacant at the jail has been selected for setting up the laboratory.
Dr GS Powar, senior medical officer, Jalandhar ESI Hospital, who was also present in the meeting in Chandigarh, said, “Portion of the hospital building was lying unused for a few years and a team which visited it was satisfied over this.”
In the last week of October, a team of experts from Patiala had visited the ESI Hospital at Udham Singh Nagar and submitted a report to the state government. The team members had found the building spread over 2,000 square feet suitable for the purpose.
Officials from the health department, district administration had also visited the site in second week of this month before the meeting of deputy commissioners with the chief secretary in Chandigarh. Officials of the local ESI Hospital had no objection to this and asked to contact the union ministry of labour under which jurisdiction ESI comes.
Hindusan Times had reported earlier that around 12,700 drug samples were pending for examination at two forensic science laboratories at Mohali and Kharar.
Sources said the state government had also given approval for hiring of staff such as experts, assistants etc for establishing three chemical laboratories in Jalandhar (now Kapurthala), Bathinda and Patiala.
An estimated rs 1 crore will be required for setting up each laboratory. The matter is pending before the finance department.
It has been learnt that around 500 samples in Jalandhar rural and as many samples with the city police sent for chemical tests are pending at the laboratories for a few months. These reports are crucial in deciding drug cases pending before several courts, therefore, affecting the fate of hundreds of accused booked under the NDPS Act languishing in jails.