SEVEN PRIVATE drug de-addiction and drug rehabilitation centres in the state are being shut after an inspection by health department found their conditions “inappropriate” for inmates, sources said. According to the health department, 60 such private centres are currently registered with them. The inspection began 10 days ago, soon after the new state government took charge. “In the first phase of inspection, 27 private centres were checked. In seven cases, teams found they were not following rules,” a senior official said. Of the seven centres, sources said, three are located in Ludhiana and one each in Mansa, Jalandhar, Moga and Kapurthala. Another centre, officials said, had been shut by the owner himself. Health officials say a centre has to maintain several standards, including physical and medical. “We found many things missing at these centres. Inspection is still on for the remaining centres. If any violation would be found, strict action would be initiated,” they said.
Sources also said fresh instructions had been issued to district officials as well as civil surgeons to keep a check on possible “illegal and unauthorised” centres functioning in their districts. “There may be more private centres running at the district level. We are trying to ensure no illegal centre is operational anywhere in the state,” said another official. Now, the Punjab health department is also planning to conduct an inspection of the government controlled drug-de addiction and rehabilitation centres. “We are planning to conduct it through an external agency. Our aim is to see if there are any shortcomings at our centres,” said an official.