BATHINDA With the campaign against drugs gaining momentum, residents in several villages of Bathinda district have come forward to bring addicts to de-addiction centers to help them get rid of the menace. Residents of Mehraj and Salabatpura villages have already brought addicts to Bathinda civil hospital while people of some other villages are planning to do so in the coming days. As many as seven addicts were brought from Mehraj village to the OPD of psychiatry department of the civil hospital on Friday. Five of them have been admitted to the drug de-addiction centre in the hospital premises, which is attached with Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot. “Five addicts from Salabatpura, who were brought with the help of villagers and were admitted in de-addiction centre, have already been discharged,” said Dr Arun Bansal, psychiatrist at the Bathinda civil hospital. He said residents of some other villages are expected to bring more addicts in coming days. “An addict from Nathana village who was admitted to the de-addiction centre on Saturday said more patients will be brought by villagers. Besides, cops of Sangat police station are also planning to bring 12 addicts with the help of residents of Phulo Mithi village on Monday,” he said. Purushotam Singh, president of district unit of BKU (Krantikari), said some more drug addicts of Mehraj village have agreed to go to the de-addiction centre. An addict from Mehraj village in the de-addiction centre said he started by taking poppy husk and later switched over to painkiller pills. “Now, it has become tough to afford drugs and they are also not easily available so I decided to quit drugs,” he said.Charges at de-addiction centres ‘too high’The state government is charging Rs 250 per day per patient at five model drug de-addiction centres in Amritsar, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Faridkot and Patiala, while Rs 200 per day per patient is charged at 34 de-addiction centres at district and sub-divisional level hospitals. Many addicts and their relatives rue that the charges at the de-addiction centres are too high and the government should either waive these off or charge nominally. Medicines and food are provided to addicts at these centres. The state government policy, however, provides for free treatment to poor patients at these centres.Bathinda district BKU (Krantikari) president Purushotam Singh, who along with other residents of Mehraj village brought addicts to the hospital, said they had thought that treatment in de-addiction centres is free. He said the government should bear all expenses of treatment of addicts.