Five days after the death of two mentally challenged people at the Sukhjit Ashram due to food poisoning, minister of state for social justice and empowerment Vijay Sampla visited the civil hospital and Sukhjit Ashram to take stock of the situation on Saturday.
When asked for his belated visit, the minister said that he was busy in a meeting on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
The minister expressed grief over the incident and said that a special team from the social justice and empowerment ministry would visit the ashram next week to review the arrangements.
He also interacted with inmates at the civil hospital and directed the staff to ensure that the five children, who are under observation at the hospital, get proper treatment.
Meanwhile, the district administration shifted 26 children to the newly constructed rooms in the Ashram.
On Sunday last, some unidentified people had distributed food at the Ashram. After eating this food tow children had died. Chhotu (14) died on Monday, while a girl Jyoti Rani (16) died at the civil hospital on Tuesday. As many as 31 were admitted to the hospital.
Five inmates are still undergoing treatment since Monday at the civil hospital.
The state government has already suspended district social security officer (DSSO) Gulbarg Lal for negligence.
Sampla was disappointed with health facilities at the civil hospital
Sampla found several deficiencies at the civil hospital during his visit. He got furious when the civil surgeon HS Kahlon was not present in the ward, when Sampla reached the hospital. The civil surgeon, however, reached at the ward in a minute.
But showing his annoyance, Sampla called the state health minister Surjit Singh Jyani and listed irregularities of the staff.
Sampla said, “Minister Saab, your staff is not performing their duty properly. I am very much disappointed.” H,e later, handed over the phone to deputy commissioner Jaskiran Singh.
Punjab director of social security and women’s and child development Gurloveleen Singh Sidhu also accompanied the minister to the hospital.