With a view to weaning away the inmates from drug-addiction and ensure their timely and proper treatment, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today approved Rs. 2.50 crore out of Cancer & Drug De-addiction Treatment Fund to strengthen the Drug De-addiction Centers (DDCs) set up in eight Central Jails across the state.
Presiding over a high level meeting with the senior officers of Police, Jail and Health department to modernize the existing DDCs in all the Central Jails in the state held here at Punjab Bhawan this morning, Mr. Badal said that the entire exercise to put in place a mechanism to curb the menace of drug-addiction amongst the inmates must be completed within three months.
Appreciating the suggestions put forth by Prof. and Head of Psychiatry department, PGIMER, Chandigarh Dr. Ajit Awasthi for bringing reforms in the health set up in the jails, the Chief Minister asked the officers to implement all his recommendations in right earnest so as to ensure complete revamp of the existing DDCs in the Central Jails. Meanwhile, the ADGP Jails Mr. RP Meena apprised the Chief Minister that as many as 5682 inmates had been treated in the DDCs and 336 were under treatment.
The Chief Minister asked the senior officers of the Jail Department and DGP to ensure strict vigil around the clock to check drug trafficking in the Jails. The DGP Mr. Sumedh Singh Saini assured the Chief Minister that he would deploy two IGs to supervise the jail security besides positioning 700-800 police personnel around the jails as ‘cordon cover’ within a month to check the infiltration of drugs into the jails by the visitors coming to jails for meeting inmates. He also assured the Chief Minister that adequate equipment such as door frame metal detectors, head held metal detectors and walkie-talkie sets as demanded by the Jail department would be provided by the Police department at the earliest to ensure proper frisking of the people and staff of the jails.
Taking part in the deliberations, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare Mrs. Vinni Mahajan informed the Chief Minister that doctors and Para-medics had already been deputed in the jails for the treatment of inmates in the DDCs adding she said more doctors would be deputed soon after consultation with Principal Secretary Home as per their demand. Mr. Badal also directed Mrs. Mahajan to work modalities for procuring medicines for the DDCs in the jails and entrusted this task to the Health & Family Welfare Department. The Chief Minister also agreed to the proposal put forth by Jail department for setting up of medical Laboratories, ambulances, Installation of television sets, urine testing kits, sniffer dogs, besides repair of barracks for de-toxification and rehabilitation. Mr. Badal also asked the Principal Secretary Health to atleast post a Psychiatrist in each DDC for counseling of the inmates who were on drugs besides conducting the general checkup of all the inmates to ascertain their health status so that they could be given proper treatment accordingly. Mrs. Mahajan told the Chief Minister that the Health department would soon deploy Psychiatrist Social Workers in these jails as desired by him.
Prominent amongst others who also attended the meeting included Jail Minister Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Principal Secretary Home Mr. DS Bains, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Mr. SK Sandhu, Principal Secretary Health Mrs. Vinni Mahajan, DGP Mr. Sumedh Singh Saini, ADGP Jails Mr. RP Meena, Special Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister Mr. KJS Cheema and Mr. Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.