Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], September 16 (ANI): The High Court of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday issued notices to the Additional Chief Secretary and Director of Social Justice and Empowerment, on the issue of the deplorable condition of the Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts, due to financial crunch.
The Court directed the respondents to submit their reply within a period of two weeks.
Division Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed these orders on a petition taken up by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on a news published in English Daily under title " De-addiction centres battle fund crunch".
It was reported that there are four functional IRCAs in the State in Shimla, Kullu, Una and Hamirpur with a total capacity of 60 beds. The other three are running in full capacity but these are also facing financial constraints, the press note issued by Himachal Pradesh High Court read in a statement.
The IRCA centres established in Kullu (women), Dharamshala, Chamba, Mandi, Sirmaur, Bilaspur and Solan are yet to be operational, despite having receipt of first grants.
In 2019, the 15-bed centre started in Shimla, is now facing closure as it has not received grants over Rs.54 lakh from the central government during the past two years.
According to the press note, the centre of Shimla said that it is not in a position to add new patients and it has an occupancy of only three. The staff have been forced to leave due to the non-payment of salaries for one year. The centre is located in a rented building is unable to pay rent, electricity, water, telephone and internet charges. Moreover, it has become difficult to provide medicines and food to the inmates. The OPD and IPD facilities have also been discontinued.
The High Court Press note stated that the centre has shared its concerns with the higher authorities but no concrete step has been taken yet.
In Himachal Pradesh, the instances of drug addiction are on the rise and a total of 2,126 cases have been registered from January 1 to April 30. (ANI)