Expressing dissatisfaction over the state of night shelters functional in the city, engineer-in-chief, state local bodies department, Manmohan Singh said, “There is inadequate space, no beds and the bedding too is not in a good condition at the shelters.”
“Also, there is no proper provision of separate washrooms for men and women at the shelters,” said Singh who visited the night shelters functional at Hambran Road, near Lakkar bridge and near Manju Cinema.
He said the condition of the night shelters was not as per the affidavit filed by the district administration with the state government.
Pointing at the facilities mandatory for the shelter homes, the official said there should be the provision of electricity and potable water also. He also accused the district administration of having misled the chief secretary as the affidavit filed by the district administration mentioned that there was required number of night shelters in the city.
“Interestingly, each room in the night shelter has been counted as one so as to show that there is one night shelter for a population of one lakh,” Singh said.
On the other hand, when contacted, deputy commissioner Rajat Agarwal said, “I agree that as per the norms there should be one shelter home for a population of 1 lakh and going by the official figure of 16 lakh population of the city, there should be 16 shelter homes. But keeping in account the demand, the current available space is adequate at shelter homes functional in the city.”
The deputy commissioner further stated that destitute were unwilling to go to shelter homes as he referred to the “anti-begging drive” initiated by the administration wherein beggars and their families were taken to shelter homes, given haircuts, provided food and clothing but they preferred to stay on roadsides.