Badal village always gets preference for anything. Whether it is the State Institute of Nursing, veterinary hospital, multi-sports stadium, civil hospital, power-cum-rest houses, fruit processing units, the four-laned road or plantation of trees, the administration does its best to make every project successful in chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's village, but, this de-addiction centre, which was opened last year, has proved a failure.
Badal's Lambi constituency not only touches with Rajasthan border but it is also a gateway of the illegal trafficking of drugs, especially poppy husk and opium from the vends in Rajasthan into Punjab. A poppy husk vend in Haripura village of Rajasthan is just at a kilometre distance from Kandu Khera village of Lambi.
The failure of the Punjab police to stop this trafficking is one of the reasons behind closure of the drug-de-addiction centres opened at Badal village just one year ago on June 20.
This centre was one of the measures taken in haste by the Punjab government to curb drug menace after facing huge criticism and loss of votes over the drug issue in parliamentary elections in 2014.
The centre ran successfully for two months, however patients started decreasing soon after the Rajasthan government again turned eyes away from the vends near the Punjab border and allowing them to do the illegal trade.
When asked on the reasons behind the failure, Dr Rohit Jindal, in-charge of the de-addiction centre, said, "Reopening of the vends in Rajasthan is one of the reasons. Vends were closed when this centre was launched and we saw a heavy rush. It is possible that the addicts again started visiting vends after they were reopened for them."
Addicts from Punjab go in private buses to Haripura and come back with drugs. However, the Punjab police never dare to search these buses as most these are owned by leaders of th eShiromani Akali Dal (SAD). It has dented the image of the chief minister as this is the first project he brought to the village and it has failed so miserably.
It was a 10-bed centre. However, now only OPD is being run. Around 50 patients come on a daily basis, according to Dr Rohit.
Dr Rohit observes, "Patients believe that opium keeps them fit. So, they do not want to get rid of it. I am afraid that some of my patients are also taking drugs along with medicines. However, they have decreased the quantity they were taking earlier."