New Delhi: In a bid to free the city of
60,000 beggars ahead of next year`s Commonwealth Games, Delhi
Government on Tuesday launched two mobile courts -- the first of
its kind in the city -- to prosecute those involved in
Delhi Social Welfare and Labour Minister Mangat Ram
Singhal launched the courts at a function where he reaffirmed
the city government`s commitment to make all efforts to
eradicate the menace from the national capital.
"We are determined to rid the city of beggars before
commencement of the Commonwealth Games next year," he said.
Officials said government would set up two more mobile
courts soon so as to enforce anti-beggary laws.
Each mobile court will have a retired judge, a policeman
and an official from the department of social welfare.
The Government has already purchased 12 vehicles to track
down the beggars while a control room, assisted by police, is
being set up to speed up convictions.
Begging is an offence under the Prevention of Begging
Officials said initially, the plan is to launch
anti-beggary drive in areas like Dhaula Kuan, Rajghat and
The move is part of government`s various efforts to
spruce up the city ahead of the mega sporting event which is
expected to be witnessed by thousands of foreigners.
The government will also tie-up with police for a
hassle-free operation while a special control room will be set
up so that the mobile courts can reach the spot where a beggar
Currently, there are 12 beggar homes across the city
where in all 1,500 beggars can be lodged.
The official said the Social Welfare department has
requested the Delhi Police to maintain zero tolerance in
acting against the beggars.
He said the department has also decided to construct open
shelter homes for beggars in the city and requested managing
committees of various temples, mosques and gurudwaras not to
allow beggars roam around the religious places.
The official said government was also preparing a
biometric database of beggars in the city.
The Delhi High Court had on August 10 had asked the city
government to make all out efforts to eradicate the menace
from the national capital.
A Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and
Justice Ajit Bharihoke had asked the Social Welfare department
of the Delhi Government to have a discussion with governments
of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and come out with a
solution to the problem.