Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday slammed the Arvind Kejriwal government over lack of arrangements to prevent cold related deaths in the national capital and sought its reply in four weeks.
According to reports, the High Court expressed its displeasure on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government`s attitude and for its failure to conduct regular meetings with various agencies to improve shelter homes in the capital.
The state government, on its turn, said that it is in talk with Delhi Police for better coordination and assured that all steps are being taken to help shelter-less people.
Taking a dig at the Kejriwal government, Delhi BJP leader Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “We have written to the Delhi Govt about shelter-less people dying in cold. They haven’t worked to do something about it for over a month.”
The observation was made by a bench headed by Delhi High Court Chief Justice NV Ramana.
The High Court had earlier directed the AAP government to submit its long and short term policies for providing shelter to the homeless.
The bench also directed the government to file an affidavit on the number of homeless people who may have died due to the cold weather conditions.
The counsel for Delhi government told the bench that the government has acquired buses and converted them into shelters for the homeless.
When asked by the court if these converted buses have basic amenities, the counsel said that they have been stationed near public toilets. The government also said that more buses would be acquired shortly.
The submissions were made during a hearing on the issue of providing shelter, especially in winters, to the homeless in the national capital, a matter which the High Court had taken up on its own way back in 2010.
Since then the High Court has periodically issued directions to the government on the issue.
In November last year, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), in an affidavit, had informed the court that it is committed to ensuring that not a single person would be forced to spend the night out in the open during the winter season.
It had claimed to have ensured that all the 174 night shelters in the capital were in working order.
DUSIB had said that there were 66 permanent and 83 temporary night shelters, apart from which there were 25 that were only set up during the winter season. Together they had a capacity to accommodate 14,000 people, it had said.
On the question of approximate number of shelter-less people in the city, DUSIB, by citing a survey conducted by the Delhi government, had said there were about over 55,000 homeless in the national capital.
With PTI inputs