Kejriwal orders measures to help homeless, replace night shelters

Delhi government on Wednesday announced a series of measures to provide roof to the homeless in biting cold sweeping the city.

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 01, 2014, 22:21 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi government on Wednesday announced a series of measures to provide roof to the homeless in biting cold sweeping the city and decided to replace all night shelters being run from plastic tents with porta cabins.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also directed SDMs to conduct inspections in their respective areas during night hours and ensure night shelters are being run properly.
SDMs have also been asked to prepare a list of areas, where night shelters are required, by January 4 morning.

"We have come to know that there are many government-run night shelters which are operating from plastic tents but they cannot stop cold wind.

"A order has been passed to replace them with porta cabins in 3-4 days time," Kejriwal told a press conference here today.
The CM said SDMs have been asked to identify locations, where a large number of homeless people are sleeping in the open, by January 4 so that porta cabins can be put in place there.

"During night-time inspections by our ministers Manish Sisodia and Rakhi Birla and AAP leader Sanjay Singh, it came to our knowledge that many people are sleeping under flyovers and other such places and not willing to move to night shelters. The government has decided to provide porta cabin- based shelter to them on the spot," said Kejriwal.

Kejriwal said the government is also seeking the assistance of all MLAs in ensuring better facilities at the night shelters.

"We are writing to MLAs saying their help is also needed in this matter and sending them a list of night shelters in their respective areas. We are appealing them to visit night shelters," he said, adding the ministers and AAP volunteers will also assist them in this initiative.
Slamming the previous government over its failure to
provide relief to the homeless, Kejriwal said a case has been going on in the Delhi High Court since 2010 but no actions were taken by the government for the welfare of the destitute.

Kejriwal said AAP volunteers, along with members of NGO Ashray Adhikar Abhiyan, would conduct a survey to locate places where porta cabins are required.

"Members of the NGO today met us and gave a list of 45 locations where the homeless are living. Tonight AAP volunteers and NGO members will visit those 45 locations and prepare a list of spots where portacabins are required by tomorrow," said Kejriwal.