MCG to open two new night shelters at Kadipur, BadshahpurUpdated: Oct 30, 2019 22:04 IST
Gurugram: Ahead of the winter this year, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will be adding two more permanent night shelters in the city at Badshahpur and Kadipur, said officials on Thursday.
The MCG has three permanent night shelters at Kanhai, Sheetla Mata Mandir, and Bhim Nagar, besides seven portable night shelters, that can cumulatively accommodate around 600 people.
As per MCG officials, the new night shelters will be located near Vatika Chowk and Kadipur Chowk, with a capacity of accommodating at least 200 people each. They will have provisions of geysers and space for kitchens, and will be powered by solar energy.
The officials said that all night shelters are likely to open around November 15.
“We have completed construction of two new permanent night shelters at Kadipur and Badshahpur. They will accommodate 400-500 people cumulatively and will be inaugurated next week. They will open to service around November 15 along with the remaining shelters,” said Mahender Singh, city project officer (CPO), MCG.
It is the first time in three years that the MCG will be opening new night shelters. In November 2016, the MCG had procured seven new portable night shelters at a cost of ₹20 lakh.
The 10-foot-tall and 28-foot-wide portable night shelters can accommodate around 12 people each and have provisions of bedding, drinking water and toilet.
Singh further said that the MCG is identifying potential sites across the city where it can set up portable night shelters to ensure that more people can access them.
The MCG officials said sites such as Rajiv Chowk, Sector 12 bus stand, and railway station which have had a high number of takers since 2016 are likely to remain intact while a final decision on the remaining four will be decided after the survey.
Last year, the MCG faced a problem with low turnout in the portable shelters. On a few days, not a single person occupied the structures at Basai Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Sector 14 part-II and Mahaveer Chowk, said the officials.
“The MCG will ensure that there is enough space to accommodate the homeless in the city. We will carry out awareness drives and also tie up with local welfare societies to help us locate and transport maximum number of people seeking shelter at public spaces such as the bus stand and railway station,” said Amit Khatri, commissioner, MCG.
The officials said that if the survey finds that more portable shelters are required, then the MCG will procure two new portable shelters before December.
In January this year, at least 10 homeless people, including one woman, had died in different parts of the city due to the intense cold wave.
Subsequently, on the directions of the Supreme Court, MCG’s survey in February had assessed that there were 650 homeless people in the city.
Singh also said that seven decommissioned buses of the Haryana Roadways that were procured in 2014 for ₹15 lakh and were used till early 2017 as makeshift night shelters, will be auctioned off next week as their maintenance was proving to be a major hurdle.
“We encountered several problems with the buses in the past two years. Ragpickers would often take out spare parts from the buses while miscreants also broke their windows. To fix them, the MCG had to approach the Haryana Roadways workshops. Hence, we will be phasing out the seven buses entirely,” said Singh.