Amid the re-launched offensive against drug trafficking and the remnants of drugs in the state, a drug de-addiction centre managed by the Red Cross, which might have been quite helpful in the de-addiction campaign, has been lying in shambles these days.
The 15-bed centre was started by the Red Cross here in 1992 with the collaboration of the Union government. As the building of the centre was declared unsafe last year, a new building was proposed to be built and proposal worth about Rs 85 lakh was sent to the Centre. But instead of getting approval of the proposal, the Red Cross authorities decided to close down the centre. However, later the Red Cross spent Rs 9 lakh on the renovation of the building.
Project Director of the centre Baljinder Singh said that presently the centre has an OPD with about 10 new patients and 12 to 15 old patients visiting it daily, but the patients are not being admitted to the centre as as the grant from the Central government is still awaited.
The annual grant comes at the end of every financial year. The patients are being referred to the other governmental drug de addiction centres of the district due to lack of funds and medicines.
Sources said that the Red Cross authorities have funds for other works but not for this centre. There is a provision to provide food for admitted patients at the centre and medicines should also be given free of cost to the patients.
Secretary, Red Cross, Bathinda, Virender Kumar, said that this centre is being run on the 90:10 basis and the 90% grant is to be given by the Central government. There are a total of 12 people are working at the centre.
On the other side, sources said that these people had not got salary since April last year and their annual contract had not been renewed for 2015-16. The Red Cross Society had not received the grant for 2014-15 yet.
Virender Kumar further said that the Society has approved a loan of Rs 5 lakh for the centre. This money will be used to pay the honorarium of workers for its maintenance.