CUTTACK: The Odisha government’s response to the Centrally-sponsored National Action Plan for De-addiction and Rehabilitation has come under judicial scrutiny with the Orissa High Court seeking a report on its implementation in the State.
The Court sought the report after Amicus Curiae PK Rath during hearing of a seven-year-old petition on Thursday, pointed out that the Action Plan covered 272 districts across the country including 10 in Odisha. The Central government had launched the Action Plan for 2020-21 on June 26, 2020.
Among the 272 most affected districts are Cuttack, Malkangiri, Angul, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Puri, Rayagada and Sambalpur.
The petition seeking Court intervention for setting up of de-addiction centres (DACs) in the State was filed by Kshamanidhi Samal in 2014.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice AK Mohapatra asked the Secretary of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department to state in an affidavit what steps have been taken to implement the National Action Plan in the districts.
The bench also directed the Secretary to hold a meeting with the Amicus Curiae to understand the observations and recommendations made in the latter’s report and thereafter formulate a proper response of the State government and incorporate them in the affidavit.
The Court sought the response after it found that till date, although more than five years have elapsed, the response of the State government to the Amicus Curiae’s report has not been presented before it.
Rath had submitted a detailed report to the Court on June 20, 2016 after visiting many of the existing DACs in the State.
The report had pointed out that the DACs at the medical college hospitals and some district headquarters hospitals across the State are not properly functioning.
Many NGOs were operating Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts (IRCAs) in 33 different locations and there was no system to regulate their activities.