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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Special de-addiction camps remain only announcement

Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times  JALANDHAR, July 24, 2014
First Published: 23:56 IST(24/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:58 IST(24/7/2014)

The combined drive by various government departments to start drug de-addiction camps this week remained confined to papers.

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The special drug de-addiction camps, which were to be started on Thursday as announced by city community police in association with health, social welfare and other departments at six places in the district, have failed to start in any of the areas.

In a press release on July 2, an announcement was made that three camps were to be started at Qazi mandi, ESI hospital and Bhargo camp locality by the community police resource centre while in rural areas, camps were to be organised at Shahkot, Nakodar and Phillaur civil hospitals.

The police and panchayat department were also to help the health department in organising the camps.

However, health and social welfare department officials claimed the camps were to be held by the police and they had only attended the July 2 meeting on the request of police officials.

They said the police had planned to hold such camps and the officials were called only to guide them.

A senior health official said that after the 15-day de-addiction camp held by the health department and police in the month of June this year, more than 4,700 drug addicts visited the government run de-addiction centres in the district.

As per instructions from the state government, the drug addicts were treated free of cost in these centres and all of a sudden when medicines started running out of stock, the camps were withdrawn.

The motive of the camps to be conducted this month was to bring the addicts who failed to enroll themselves in camps last month.

The official further said the health department had to provide medicines, counsellors and psychiatrists while the police had to bring drug addicts to the camps to be held from July 24 to 26.

Apart from village panchayats, NGOs were also called to support and publicise the camps. District social welfare officer Lakhwinder Singh, now transferred to Kapurthala, said these camps were to be held by the police department only and the other departments were called just to assist police officials.

District guidance councillor Surjeet Lal said the July 2 meeting was called by the police department to demand cooperation but after that, no communication was given by them.

When asked, police commissioner Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said the police had earlier planned to hold the camps from July 24 to 26 at three places in its jurisdiction.

However, the program was scrapped as they were asked by the government to concentrate only on policing.

Police superintendent (headquarters) of rural police, Mukhwinder Singh, said they would hold only one de-addiction camp from Friday in Lohian town.

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