Night shelters: NDMC takes action after SC directive
The Supreme Court’s directive to put up more night shelters in the city seems to have swung the New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) into action.delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2010 02:07 IST
The Supreme Court’s directive to put up more night shelters in the city seems to have swung the New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) into action.
Last year, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had converted the only night shelter in the area into a school on court orders. It has now finally given DUSIB permission to set up temporary shelters during winter months. The board has already set up two tents — in Moti Bagh and Safdarjung.
“We are in the process of setting up three more tents. We have finalised two sites near Munirka and Bhikaji Cama Place where there is need to set up shelters,” said Kundan Lal, member, DUSIB.
But none of these sites are near Connaught Place, where the need to set up shelters is acute. “There need to be at least 10 night shelters in the NDMC area, especially around Connaught Place, India Gate and Jantar Mantar, areas that have the maximum number of homeless,” said Indu Prakash Singh, technical advisor, Indo Global Social Service Society, which works for the rights of the homeless in the city and is also running shelters in coordination with the DUSIB.
“At most night shelters in the city, drinking water and mobile toilets are missing,” Singh added. At the Moti Bagh night shelter, for instance, there is no electricity.
Meanwhile, the shelters being set up at present are temporary and there are no permanent shelters in NDMC area. The New Delhi area has a large number of homeless people, who mostly live under flyovers and on the footpaths.
However, the civic body does not have adequate facilities to accommodate them. Till last year, there was a single night shelter meant exclusively for women. It had 17 rooms and could accommodate 150 women. Meanwhile, the High Court has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to set up the two night shelters at Nehru Place again.These had been demolished a few days ago.
“DDA will also pay the rental of the two tents for three months. The setting up will also be done by them,” said Palvinder Singh from NGO Prerna, which was looking after the two night shelters.