Three adults, including a woman, and a 12-year-old boy have lost their lives in the past five days at Asha Kiran, a Delhi government-run centre for mentally challenged at Rohini.
Delhi Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia said the inmates died a "natural" death and there was "no negligence on the part of administration".
"The inmates were suffering with acute medical conditions. Their medical complications included brain tuberculosis, hepatitis and epileptic seizures. Cold and negligence were definitely not the reason for their deaths," Walia defended.
Asha Kiran Complex was in news in 2009 and 2010 when almost 100 inmates had died within a span of two years due to negligence, lack of medical facilities and unhygienic conditions.
Built for 350 patients, the Asha Kiran complex currently provides shelter to more than 970 medically-challenged men, women and children, 90 per cent of who get epileptic seizures and most are "treatment resistant".
Walia said adequate arrangements were made for proper care and protection of the inmates before the onset of winter.
The measures included distribution of woollen clothing and blankets, installation of geysers in all bathrooms, hot water kettles in dormitories and cottages and fitting of glasses in all window panes, Walia said.
The minister added that the monitoring committees regularly visited the shelter home and submitted reports to the government.
The minister, however, agreed that overcrowding at Asha Kiran was indeed a problem.
The Delhi government's social welfare department had identified three more locations to build such shelter homes and decongest the existing one, but the new homes were yet to come up.
"Our contingency plan is very well in place. We will be shifting about 500 inmates from here to new complexes in the next four months. We have renovated a building in Narela where
200-220 inmates would be moved. Similarly, a part of Nirmal Chhaya (a house meant for destitute women) has been upgraded to accommodate 100 women inmates of Asha Kiran. We have also augmented the capacity of Asha Kiran by building a new section, where 160 inmates would be moved," the minister added.