CHANDIGARH: A total of 35 drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres were functioning without license in Punjab till August 2016, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said today.
The CAG report tabled in the state Assembly here also said that five drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres set up at a cost of Rs 6.93 crore were not functional for want of staff and equipment.
"Excess expenditure of Rs 2.40 crore was incurred on purchase of medicines," it said. In order to identify and provide treatment and aftercare to substance users, the state government had framed in January 2011 the 'Punjab Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Counselling and Rehabilitation Centres Rules'. It had also set up four Model Drug De-addiction Centres (MDDC) and 31 Drug De-addiction Centres (DDC) during September 2007 to July 2015, the report said.
The state also set up 22 rehab centres (RC), one in each district, to provide comprehensive rehabilitation to the affected, it said.
About the centres functioning without license, the CAG report stated, "The audit observed that 35 centres were functioning without obtaining license/non-renewal of license as on August 2016 in contravention of the rules. The department concerned attributed (Jul 2016) the reasons for non-issue of licenses to non-receipt of inspection reports from civil surgeons and non-receipt of applications.
"The reply was not tenable as eight functional MDDCs/ DDCs/RCs which had applied for licenses between September 2012 and April 2016 had not been issued licenses even after the delay of five months to four years.
Further, 27 MDDCs/DDCs/ RCs which were functional between January 21011 and June 2016 had not applied for issue of licenses. Thus, the department had failed to ensure that all the centres had valid license/ registration in accordance with the rules," it said.
The test-check of records in the selected districts showed that against 1,75,108 drug addiction patients registered in OPD, only 11,186 patients were taken to Indoor Patient Department (IPD) during 2013-16, while the percentage of unutilised bed capacity in these centres ranged between 17 and 60 per cent during the same period, the CAG report said.
"The functioning of the de-addiction centres and rehabilitative efforts of the state government were also hampered by failure to avail the Central assistance of Rs 0.36 crore due to non-submission of utilisation certificates and shortage of manpower, ranging between 25 and 100 per cent in the test-checked districts. "Only 23 and 28 per cent of detoxified addicts were admitted to the rehab centres of four test-checked districts," the report added.