Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment of Assam Pijush Hazarika has directed the owners of rehabilitation centres in Guwahati that all necessary work should be completed in within the next three months.
Pijush Hazarika on Saturday attended a review meeting with the owners of private 'rehabilitation' centres in Guwahati in the presence of officials of police and health departments as well as the Commissioner of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC).
During a surprise visit to a private 'rehabilitation' centre in Guwahati on Thursday, the minister did not see even the minimum facilities for the residents and announced that the government would formulate policy for the control of rehabilitation centres and said that he would soon hold a review meeting with the owners of all rehabilitation centres in the city.
Addressing the review meeting in Janata Bhawan on Saturday, the minister urged the owners to follow certain principles keeping in view the minimum necessity of the residents of their centres.
Stating that the rehabilitation centres should immediately focus on all four aspects of having a maximum of four residents in a normal size room, one toilet for every five to seven residents, nutritious food and regular health check-ups, all these four aspects should be taken care of immediately by the rehabilitation centres, the minister directed that all necessary work should be completed in this regard within the next three months.
On the other hand, permission from the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment as well as the Health Department and the District Administration will be required to start a rehabilitation centre.
In the meeting, a departmental committee comprising eight owners was formed and within the next two months, the committee would submit its report to formulate a new policy. On the other hand, the minister said that strict attention will be taken to ensure that no one closes their centres immediately and put the residents in trouble.
The minister also said that the residents of the centres which will not be able to comply with the government policy and want to close their centres after the next three months will be shifted to government rehabilitation centres.
In the review meeting, discussing whether schemes can be adopted for skill development in the government's initiative for the residents of rehabilitation centres, who want to get away from drug addiction, Minister Hazarika said that it will be considered whether skill development training can be imparted to 1000 such residents in the next budget year.
Minister Hazarika also urged the officials of the Health Department and Police Department to work together with the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment to control and regular monitoring of the rehabilitation centres so that drug addicts in the state can be given a new lease of life.
The minister was joined by MLA Jitu Goshwami, Chairman of Anti-Drug and Prevention Council Mridula Barkakati, Vice President Jitu Borgohain, Commissioner of Social Justice and Empowerment Department Mukesh Chandra Sahu, Director Kishore Thakuria, Commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Health Department Secretary, Assam Police officials and other officials.