Medicines worth lacs dumped in Baramulla forests; locals, authorities perplexed

Medicines worth lacs dumped in Baramulla forests; locals, authorities perplexed
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TANGMARAG: In a bizarre incident, the people in Gogaldara village of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district have spotted a fresh hospital supply of medicines worth lakhs dumped on the bank of a stream in the nearby forests.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, residents said, “We have found a free hospital supply dumped in the forests, and the irony is that most of the medicines have a shelf life of more than a year.”
A boy who identified himself as Ghulam Hassan Bhat recounted how he and his friends were “on a routine roam around” in the village forest when they found piles of medicine packs dumped.
“At first we thought the medicines would be expired, but after going through the stock more closely, we were surprised to find that nearly 90 percent of the medicines had a shelf life of up to 2019,” he said.
The packets, eye witnesses claimed, had imprints of “Jammu and Kashmir Medical Corporation Limited” on them, which, they added, confirmed that the medicine was hospital supply and thus was meant for free distribution among patients consulting hospitals, health centres and dispensaries.
Terming the medicines’ discarding “disgusting”, people voiced their outrage at the thought of hospital authorities dumping free medicines in the forests, preventing the poor from getting the medicines’ benefits and at the same time polluting the forests.
Suspecting some “big fraud”, people have appealed to the authorities to intervene and investigate the matter, indicating that the dumped medicine might have been the supply for either of the two hospitals in the close vicinity of Gogaldara, the Tangmarg Sub-district Hospital and the Kunzar Public Health Centre.
They added that the medicines could have been dumped in the forests but were instead left on the bank of the stream that supplies water to almost hundreds of villages. As a result, people here are apprehensive of an outbreak of some disease or infection.
Bashir Ahmad, Assistant Drug Controller, Baramulla, told Kashmir Reader, “After receiving the information regarding this issue, a team visited the spot on Thursday. After finding the reports true, an investigation has been initiated in this regard.
“We have geared up the investigation process in this bizarre issue and we are going to hold a meeting with Deputy Commissioner Baramulla on Saturday. We will call the controller from where the drugs are being supplied to the entire district as well,” he said.
“We have also issued a letter to the concerned BMO of Tangmarag for questioning in this case,” he said adding “We will investigate the case keeping in view the multiple dimensions so that we will reach to its root level.
“There are two things: first, if the drugs have expired, they should inform the department and dispose of the expired medicines, and if the medicines have shelf life remaining, then this should not have happened.
“Initial report suggests that the persons who have dumped this medicine are employees of the Drugs Department.”
When asked whether any FIR stands registered in this regard, he said, “We are not competent to lodge FIR in this regard till we don’t get to its root.”
He added, “It is the Forest Department that has to file an FIR against the person who has dumped the medicines and polluted the forests.”