The Punjab government has assured the Punjab and Haryana high court that it will revisit the rules and regulations and conduct inspections of all private-run de-addiction centres across the state by September 7.
Additional advocate general, Punjab, Reeta Kohli told the court on Wednesday the government will rope in former PGIMER director KK Talwar and psychiatrist Dr Ajit Awasthi for the exercise.
The submissions were made during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) initiated by the court into Jagdish Bhola drug racket case.
Earlier, Dr Aditya Avinash Kaushik, a Haryana doctor, who is assisting the court in this matter, stated that during his visit to a private de-addiction centre in Rara Sahib, Ludhiana, he found patients in unhygienic conditions. “There were 56 patients, lodged in a hall. They were even forced to share towels. The infrastructure was poor. Such centres across state may be earning lakhs of rupees but spending only a few thousands on facilities,” he said, seeking court’s intervention.
Dr Kaushik said that he also visited a government de-addiction centre in Jargaon area, where he found good facilities. “But sadly, only three patients were there,” he said.
Taking serious note of the submissions, the court urged the doctor to file a detailed report in a week, observing that ill-equipped private de-addiction centres should not be allowed to flourish.
The high court also suggested Punjab to consider engaging retired psychiatrists for the deaddiction centres. The court was informed that there were only 30 psychiatrists against the requirement of 60. An affidavit from the principal secretary concerned has also been sought on the next date of hearing.