Ghaziabad shelter homes lack basic facilities, revamp underway
The corporation runs 16 permanent shelters and sets up four to five temporary shelters as per the need during winterUpdated: Dec 17, 2017, 23:07 IST
Winter has already set in and the needy are rushing to various shelter homes being run by Ghaziabad municipal corporation. However, several night shelters visited by Hindustan Times reporter were found to be lacking basic amenities.
According to officials, the corporation runs 16 permanent shelters and sets up four to five temporary shelters as per the need during winter. Officials said that the provision of basic facilities and other works will be completed by December 23, latest.
“In our shelter home, there is a problem of broken asbestos sheets, which is causing water to seep in during rain, causing bedrolls and blankets to get drenched in water. The sewer line connecting the toilet has been choked for the last 10 days and the main door of the shelter has broken locks. We lock it by angling a stick to the main door,” Chandu, the caretaker of shelter home at the old bus stand, said.
The shelter home is a stone’s throw from the headquarters of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation but lacks basic facilities. “There was some renovation work taken up 10 days ago but the debris is yet to be cleared. Some officials came here and erected a ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ poster and also clicked a picture. They went away without inquiring or giving assurance about resolving issues. The major problem we face is of drunkards, who force themselves inside the shelter. This is the only shelter in the area that has the facility to accommodate women,” he said.
Recently, the corporation erected a temporary shelter at Raj Nagar railway crossing, which has a capacity of 30 beds. “We still need buckets for storing drinking water and cleaning work is pending. However, 30 bedrolls and blankets have been received. At present, we only have five to seven people who use the facility,” Manish Kumar, the caretaker of the temporary shelter, said.
A shelter near Nasipur railway crossing, which is under renovation, is likely to be ready in a few days. This is a major intersection where daily wage workers come every morning, seeking employment. Many of them try to find shelter at the facility but are unable to use it due to the ongoing renovation.
“The shelter home is being repaired and renovated after a gap of around four years. We have received bedrolls and blankets. However, the electrical panels are damaged and we still have not got the stock of wood for the bonfire,” Mahesh Kumar, the caretaker of the facility, said.
Municipal commissioner CP Singh said that he has taken the initiative to get the 16 facilities renovated and the work is likely to get complete by December 23.
“We will also be sending wood for lighting bonfire at 55 different locations. Earlier, we were apprehensive that burning of wood may cause pollution and also violate any order of the National Green Tribunal. However, the UP pollution control board officials said that there was no embargo on setting up a bonfire for poor,” Singh said.
He said that the corporation has also come up with a model shelter near New Ghaziabad railway station, which has been beautified with help of tiles and greenery. Toilets have also been set up outside the shelter, he said.
“I will personally survey some of the night shelters and take up the pending issues. We may also replace the old contractors and rope in new ones who can attend to the issues and maintain the shelters properly. We have also prepared detailed project reports of five shelters that will be sent for upgrading shelter homes under the National Urban Livelihood Mission,” he said.