12 night shelters in Gurugram to become operational from Dec 1
Each night shelter will open from 9pm to 10 am, and will have provisions of night-time meals, drinking water, mobile toilets, mattresses, quilts, and heaters, among other such amenities, MCG officials said
As winter has set in, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) on Sunday decided to make 12 night shelters operational from December 1. Each night shelter will open from 9pm to 10 am, and will have provisions of night-time meals, drinking water, mobile toilets, mattresses, quilts, and heaters, among other such amenities, MCG officials said.
Apart from five permanent night shelters at Kanhai community centre, Sheetla Mata Mandir, Bhim Nagar, Kadipur, and Badshahpur, the civic body has decided to install seven portable cabins at Sohna Chowk, Railway Station, Bus Stand Chowk, Basai Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Iffco Chowk, and Vatika Chowk. These night shelters can together accommodate around 600 people, the officials said.
Each portable cabin measures 10 feet in height and 28 feet in width and costs around ₹3 lakh. It has a capacity of around 10-12 people while each permanent night shelter can accommodate a minimum of 100 people, the officials said.
“We are in the process of tying up with local NGOs to serve meals during the night to those who avail of the facility. We have also procured a mobile ambulance for the purpose. A team of doctors will travel to different night shelters periodically and carry out a health check-up of those seeking shelter,” said Devinder Kumar, zonal taxation officer who has an additional charge of city project officer, MCG.
Kumar further said that each shelter will also have a caretaker. “The caretakers will be at the shelters throughout the time they are in operation. They will have the responsibility to alert us of any habitants that are ill so that the doctors can assess them or take them to the nearest hospital if required. In addition, if any woman wants to take shelter at a portable cabin, the MCG will take her to the nearest permanent night shelter where separate rooms have been kept for females,” said Kumar.
Till early 2016, the city had only two permanent night shelters at the Kanhai community centre and Bhim Nagar which earlier operated as a dog shelter. At that time, six defunct Haryana roadways buses were converted into temporary night shelters. In late 2016, the MCG introduced portable night shelters, and over the next four years, three more permanent night shelters were opened across the city.
Despite opening next week, MCG officials only expect occupancy at the night shelters in the last week of December. “It is only during peak winter, in late December and early January, do the night shelters have any significant occupancy. Otherwise, the cumulative occupancy across all 12 night shelters stays in two digits. Even during peak winter, the occupancy remains at 40-60% of the total capacity. We are planning to make arrangements accordingly,” said another senior MCG official privy to the matter.