Drug testing Composite Laboratory at Kandaghat has not been functioning for over a month because of the absence of a drug analyst. Ever since the former official for drug analyzing retired a month ago, the state government has not posted a new official to take his place. The number of samples awaiting testing at the laboratory has mounted to 400.
Former drug analyst Dr A.K. Wasuja retired on April 30 after 38 years of service. With no one to take over he has not been able to relinquish charge. The Health Department has neither considered his case for an extension nor posted anyone to replace him.
The lab is the only one in the state, which tests samples of drugs sent by drug inspectors from various chemist shops and manufacturing units across the state.
The Director, Health, Dr M.L. Mahajan while confirming this said that the post would soon be filled up. He said such appointments often took time. Of course what has not been mentioned is the fact that the department had not bothered to look for a suitable substitute in advance causing the entire testing mechanism to come to a halt.
The fact that this crucial post has to be filled in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, the requisite qualifications have to be taken into account. A proposal to elevate the Food Analyst in this place could not materialise as he has been appointed as per rules of the Food Act.
At the same time proposal to grant extension to Dr Wasuja did not take place as the proposal has not been forwarded despite recommendation from the directorate. Later it was learnt that the Chief Minister had also directed the authorities concerned to present the case before him for consideration.
Dr Wasuja had an exceptional service record, honored by the Chief Minister for refusing a bribe of Rs 10,000 and for exceptional developmental work carried out by him in his 38-year long career.