With the region reeling under an intense cold wave and people preferring to stay indoors, chilly weather has claimed lives of 15 homeless people in the city in less than a month.
These deaths have been reported from various localities of the city despite the Supreme Court order in December 2011 that the state governments must ensure no death takes place due to freezing cold in North India during winters.
Tilak Kumar, a rickshaw puller, died on December 22 due to cold near Geeta Mandir at Model Town when he was sleeping on his rickshaw after the day's work.
Passersby informed the police about they found his body. He was taken to the civil hospital where he was declared brought dead.
On Sunday, an unidentified person in his fifties was found dead outside Lyallpur Khalsa Senior Secondary School. Passersby informed the police about the body. A case under sections 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was registered at the police station-4.
It becomes really difficult to identify them, as a result of which the police register a case under section 174 of the CrPC (unnatural death) in this regard.
If nobody comes to claim these bodies within three days, the authorities cremate them after completing formalities.
The city has eight night shelters for the homeless and most of them remain empty. Besides beddings, the administration had also provided electric heaters in these homes.
An official said a majority of the homeless are addicts and beggars who prefer to stay on the roadside near the bus stand or the railway station.
Deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav said, “The administration had asked the homeless people to stay in shelter homes in night. During a special checking last week, we found that a number of daily wagers and destitute do not prefer to stay in shelter homes.”
The administration would launch a drive to bring the destitute to shelter homes, Yadav further said.