Solan, April 15
Deaddiction centres being operated without the requisite facilities in bordering areas of Punjab have become a cause for concern. The recent case of 19 inmates fleeing a centre at Bir Plassi village in Nalagarh after thrashing the staff has exposed the inept management of such centres.
Norms laid by state body
- The Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority, which registers such centres, has laid down norms for operating such centres
- They are supposed to fulfil minimum standards for infrastructure and manpower and also meet the criteria of the Rehabilitation Council of India and WHO-recommended treatment protocols
- The centres are supposed to have 75-100 square feet area per person, facility for sports, yoga and meditation, qualified staff and medical officer or psychiatrists on call, among other key amenities
Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority has laid down norms for operating such centres. They are supposed to fulfill minimum standards for infrastructure and manpower and also meet the criteria of the Rehabilitation Council of India and the WHO-recommended treatment protocols.
The centres are supposed to have at least 75-100 square feet area per person, facility for sports, yoga and meditation, qualified staff and psychiatrists on call, among other key requirements.
It has, however, been observed that these centres grapple with space constrains and are being operated from rented premises. A majority of the patients admitted here hail from Punjab and have little security arrangement or medical officer on call to attend to health issues of the inmates. The patients fail to get the promised medical care.
“Since running such centres in Punjab is a costly affair as the patients demand some basic facilities, several such centres have come up in border areas like Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh, Una, Parwanoo, etc,” said Parwanoo DSP Yogesh Rolta, where two centres were closed in recent years following death of two inmates.
While the registered centres are regularly inspected by a team of officials comprising health, police and administration, unregistered centres go unchecked.
The Nalagarh police were yet to verify whether the said centre was registered or not. As per the Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority’s website, no such centre was registered at Bir Plassi in Nalagarh. A monetary penalty is supposed to be imposed on centres operating without registration as per the state mental health authority.
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