45% of Delhi govt’s drug inspector posts vacant

Astha Saxena
Drug inspectors are responsible for conducting surprise inspections at these shops, picking up samples and sending them to testing labs. (Representational)

About 45% posts of drug inspectors are lying vacant in the Delhi government's drugs control department. The department, responsible for sale and manufacture of drugs in the capital, has 17 drug inspectors for 31 sanctioned posts at the moment.

There are around 23,000 distributor and retail chemist shops operating from various parts of the city. Drug inspectors are responsible for conducting surprise inspections at these shops, picking up samples and sending them to testing labs.

"We are in the process of hiring more people. Recently, we advertised for seven posts and are hopeful of filling the vacancies in the next six months. The appointment process comes under the Union Public Service Commission," Delhi's drug controller Atul Nasa told The Indian Express.

The department randomly selects an area and all drug inspectors visit shops inpidually to conduct investigation. Samples are taken from the shops and government hospitals. On an average, drug inspectors conduct 8-10 such inspections a month.

"Even with the existing strength, we are rigorously conducting inspections," Nasa added.

Between July and December 2018, the department conducted 609 inspections, during which 144 medical shops were found flouting guidelines. Out of 390 samples sent to a government lab for testing, three were found to be spurious and sent for prosecution. These three samples were lifted from Timarpur.

"There are two categories for testing. If a sample falls under category A, it is sent for prosecution; if it falls under B, departmental action is taken. While the three samples fall under category A, eight other samples sent for testing are under category B. Of these eight , four are from government hospitals," said Nasa.