The Delhi High Court on Thursday slammed the Delhi government for not carrying out modifications in night shelters originally meant for winters at a time when the mercury rose to a sizzling 45.4 degrees in the Capital.
A Bench of acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice RS Endlaw acted on a Hindustan Times’ report on May 9 — ‘Tin houses leave city homeless high and dry’.
The court has asked the government to provide these shelters fans, coolers, continuous running water, drinking water, clean toilets and mosquito coils. The order comes as a huge relief to the homeless people living in these tin shelters as well as in tents.
The plight of the homeless in this harsh summer was highlighted by NGO Shehri Adhikar Manch Bejgaron Ke Sath which submitted the HT report to the court, upon which the court later took action.
HT on May 9 had highlighted how these tin boxes turned into hot torture chambers in summers. The government had, instead of using a suitable material, used tin to construct these shelters. Tin is a good conductor of heat, a fact that has made the life of the residents of these shelters hell.
There are 65 temporary shelters made of tin and seven makeshift tents. The NGOs running these shelters are demanding that fans be provided here. But the complaints had fallen on deaf ears.
“It is better to live under a tree rather than in these shelters. A number of people have fallen ill. Dehydration is common. Some of us sleep outside the shelters and use them to keep our belongings,” said Nirmal, one of the tin-roof shelter residents.
“Even animals are provided fans and coolers in the Delhi zoo but the lot of those living in these shelters is even worse,” said Indu Prakash Singh, technical advisor, Indo Global Social Service Society, an NGO.
“We will be procuring fans soon. April had been very cool and it is only now that it has become so hot,” a senior government official had said then.