Patients at the only drug de-addiction centre here have complained of substandard food and many patients have left the centre due to this. The centre has the capacity of 10 patients.
Earlier, in July, when the chief minister visited the centre, he promised that the BPL card holders will be given free treatment.
When the HT team interacted with the patients admitted there, they narrated about their sorry ordeal. "I have not eaten for the last two days as the food is bad. My family is sending me food three times a day.
We pay Rs 200 per day for our treatment which includes food and medication as well. The food is not even served in time. Though we have raised this issue with the doctor here but to no avail," said one of the patients.
It was also found that the centre doesn't have a proper diet chart for the patients. The centre charges Rs 200 per day for the treatment of the patients. "We are here to stay away from toxic and addictive substance but the quality of food is so pathetic that we feel like getting back to our old days. For the last three months, we are getting the same dish every day. We have grown disenchanted with our life here. It has really not served our purpose," said Bisakha Singh, a patient.
One of the senior staff confirmed that the poor quality of food given to the patients has been the reason for the patients leaving the centre before their due course of treatment. Patients also alleged that the cook appointed at the centre misbehaves with almost every patient.
"We are starving and have to manage food on our own. The dilemma is that we are not allowed to venture outside the campus and still they ask us to get our food," said a patient.
Though the support staff at the centre refuted the allegations, but conceded the fact that the whole arrangement has not met the expectation as claimed by the administration. "At least 6 patients have left due to this reason," claimed a support staff.
The district administration, which conducts nearly 10-12 meetings every month, seems to have failed in addressing the issues of the centre. "The issue has been brought to the notice of the deputy commissioner. We don't have any facility of hot water for the patients," claimed Dr Harpal Sra, superviser of the de-addiction centre.
On being asked why the food provided to the centre was of substandard quality, the doctor said that the administration is trying to improve things. The deputy commissioner could not be reached for comments.