As the severe cold wave intensified its grip in Delhi, the Lieutenant Governor directed authorities to put up temporary tents under flyovers and bridges for the homeless.
He also asked Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to provide space to Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to set up more night shelters.
The board has been asked to make arrangements for blankets and beddings for the homeless at DMRC locations.
A senior Delhi government official said DMRC had committed to provide the ground floor of Okhla metro station to DUSIB to set up a night shelter. In addition, it is providing porta cabins as well. The night shelters will not be in the area used by passengers.
Jung inspected night shelters along with senior Delhi government officials over the weekend. He said that despite the government's best efforts to ensure people moved to the safety and warmth of night shelters, many refuse to shift from places they occupy on roads and under flyovers and bridges.
Failing to persuade them to move willingly into the night shelters and considering the extreme cold conditions prevailing in the city, the Delhi government made an exception and instructed DUSIB to set up tents under flyovers and bridges, said LG house officials.
This arrangement will be in place only till first week of February.
NGOs welcomed the move.
A senior Delhi government official said the Lt. Governor allocated an additional Rs 7 crore to DUSIB. This is in addition to the Rs 5 crore allocated recently.
"Delhi government stands firm on its commitment to provide roof and bedding to all homeless persons in the city," said Jung.
The officials further said that under the Master plan of Delhi 2021, there was a provision to create night shelters within the DMRC premises to house the homeless. "DMRC has a lot of space used for commercial purposes at stations. Similarly they can provide us space to set up shelters at their stations too," said a senior Delhi government official.
The metro corporation has provided 12 porta cabins DUSIB. These will be installed at different locations in the city to house homeless people. There are a total of 241 shelters put by up DUSIB so far.