Need more night shelters in the capital: NGO to Delhi HC

 The Delhi High Court was on Friday informed by some NGOs that more permanent night shelters were required in the city as homeless people could still be seen sleeping on roads and also in view of the approaching winter even as they alleged that its orders on upkeep of such facilities were not being followed.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court was on Friday informed by some NGOs that more permanent night shelters were required in the city as homeless people could still be seen sleeping on roads and also in view of the approaching winter even as they alleged that its orders on upkeep of such facilities were not being followed.

The NGOs also raised the issues of lack in uniformity in the amount paid to them for managing shelters apart from insufficient water and medical facilities at such places and the need for waiving the Rs 6/per shift entry fee for adult men and children above the age of 16 years.

The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) said that it has received several plots in the city and is in the process of constructing permanent shelters there, apart from the 184 night shelters - permanent and temporary - it has already set up.

After hearing the contentions of the government and the NGOs, a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said it will pass detailed orders on September 24.

The court said that, meanwhile, the government and NGOs can file any further affidavits that they want to.

The NGOs said they would be filing a list of the shelters which do not have functional facilities before the next date.

During the hearing, the NGOs submitted that temporary night shelters are not enough to cater to the homeless people in the capital and sought more permanent shelters.

They have specifically sought setting up of night shelters at Meena Bazaar where an existing shelter had been demolished a few years back and the site was lying vacant.

They have also sought more family shelters in the city with medical facilities for pregnant and lactating women.

The NGOs also said that while DUSIB claims to pay Rs 53,000 per month towards upkeep of bigger shelters, some of them are only getting Rs 35,000.

They have also alleged non-compliance of court orders by the authorities, including DUSIB. (More) PTI HMP PPS SJK RT

 

DUSIB on its part submitted that it is difficult for it to provide medical amenities for pregnant and lactating women at all shelters and said that the one at Sarai Kale Khan has such facilities.

On the issue of non-functional toilets in the shelters, DUSIB said in temporary shelters the toilets are connected to a septic tank which is cleaned periodically by the civic authorities, while those in permanent shelters are connected directly to the sewer.

The toilets are to be kept clean by the NGO managing the shelter as well as its inmates.

Meanwhile, Delhi government informed the court that all the de-addiction centres run by it in the city are functional.

The submission came in response to the allegation of NGO Shahri Adhikar Manch Begharon Ke Liye that out of the 32 de-addiction centres in the city only three are functional.

The Railways also intervened in the issue to say that night shelters should not be set up within the 15 meter buffer zone on either side of the tracks to prevent any harm to the life of the people.

The court is hearing a case it took up on its own after media reports highlighted the absence of enough and proper night shelters for the homeless in the city.

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