Officials take stock of provisions at Gurgaon’s night shelters
Ten new night shelters in the city will be open in a week’s timegurgaon Updated: Dec 06, 2017 23:44 IST
To ensure better living conditions for homeless people availing of night shelters in winter, Gurgaon deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh and Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) commissioner V Umashankar inspected all night shelters in the city. Ten night shelters in the city are to officially open in a week’s time.
Three of the permanent night shelters at Bhim nagar, Sheetla Mata Mandir and Kanhai village were opened to public on November 20.
Last year, those seeking refuge at the night shelters run by the MCG had little respite from the cold, as they had to contend with seepage, wet mattresses and bedding, no electricity, non-functional toilets and absence of water connection.
It was only after this newspaper published a series of reports on the pitiable condition of homeless people at night shelters that the authorities took notice of their plight.
Officials visited the three permanent night shelters having a combined capacity to provide shelter to more than 50 homeless people, apart from seven portable night shelters at IFFCO Chowk, Sector 15 Part 2, Rajiv Chowk, railway station, Civil Hospital, Badshahpur and Basai Chowk that can each accommodate around 12 people .
MCG officials said they carried out an inspection of the ‘sanitation standards and provision of amenities’.
“Surprise visits were made to night shelters to take stock of provisions and facilities available for homeless people. The MCG officials concerned were directed to keep them in working condition throughout winter,” Singh said.
Officials added that they are working towards forming a team, featuring officials of the MCG and members of Red Cross society. They will visit areas in the vicinity of key landmarks such as the railway station, Civil Hospital and bus stand and track people in need of shelter.
“We inspected the night shelters to verify if the conditions are adequate. While, the permanent night shelters have been opened to the public, authorities have been directed to ensure that necessary provisions are in place at all shelters by next week,” MCG Commissioner V Umashankar said.
According to members of the Red Cross Society, the city, at present, is home to more than 1,500 homeless people.
However, despite the authorities promising better living conditions, those who endured lack of basic amenities at the night shelters last year don’t wish to return this year.
“I am not sure if I will be back at Gurgaon this year, as the state of the night shelters are appalling. There was no electricity throughout my stay. I changed my base and found work in New Delhi due to lack of provisions at the shelters,” Shyam Kumar, a resident of Mahendragarh, said.