JAMMU, Feb 2: As part of 72-hour bandh of J&K Chemists and Druggist Association (JKCDA), the Jammu unit of the association today held a protest demonstration here in front of the main gate of Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) Hospital.
A large number of wholesalers and retailers of drugs assembled this morning outside SMGS Hospital and raised slogans against the Government and Ministry of Health and Medical Education for its anti-trade policy.
Addressing the protesting chemists, Naveen Bali, president of the Jammu unit of the association said that present Government has opened about 57 chemist shops in various Government hospitals of the Jammu region including Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu and its associated Hospitals only to favour some blue-eyed persons, who are too close with higher authorities of the Health Department.
Alleging some nexus between some high profile people and the Government officials in the health department, Bali said that they approached many times to the concerned department with the plea to withdraw the decision but they are least bothered about the welfare of the local chemists.
He said that their association will never allow the outsiders to sell their spurious drugs in the State. “Despite knowing the fact that the firms, which have got tenders to open shops inside the hospitals are already blacklisted at PGI Chandigarh for supplying sub standard drugs, the Government is still obliging them to open the shops in the hospitals of our State”, he alleged and appealed the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to look into the matter and order an enquiry into the whole process of allotment of shops.
Later, the chemists also held a protest in front of Press Club, Jammu.
Meanwhile, Chemist and Druggist Association Kathua in response to 72 hour bandh call given by parent body of JKCDA, Jammu province in protest against the anti-trade policies of the Government has decided to observe one day total strike tomorrow instead of 72 hour bandh.
The Association said that the decision was taken in view of inconvenience being faced by the patients due to 72 hour bandh. The Association also appealed the CMO Kathua and Medical Superintendent to District Hospital Kathua to make arrangements of providing medicines to patients from Government stores tomorrow.