The Supreme Court on Monday asked authorities to carry out its order in "letter and spirit" to "preserve and protect" the lives of homeless people by providing them roofs with all necessary facilities, especially in north India which is in the grip of intense cold waves.
"The whole endeavour should be to preserve and protect the human life," a bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Dipak Misra said while asking governments of the northern states to implement its order "without loss of time".
It said not only the cold waves but the unusual snowfall in some states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab too have added to the trouble for the homeless and destitute to whom night shelters of permanent or temporary nature must be made available.
"Permanent structure will take time and winter is intense but relief has to be provided. Please ensure people's life is preserved and protected by erecting at least temporary structure as night shelters," the bench said.
The remarks were made by the bench while it was perusing the report of the inspection of the night shelters in the national capital, carried by the court-appointed commissioners and officials of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) between January 9 to 12.
The court asked the Joint Apex Advisory Committee, comprising the members of the NGOs and Delhi government officials, looking into the issues related to homeless people, to take action on the basis of the report to "ensure" that relief reaches helpless people "without any loss of time".
The bench was told by Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran that there are night shelters which are not fully occupied and advertisement would be made through both the electronic and print media so that homeless people can make night stay at those centres.