LG visits night shelters, expresses concern over lack of sanitation and toilets, forcing people to defecate in open.
Saturday, December 24, 2022
● LG visits night shelters, expresses concern over lack of sanitation and toilets, forcing people to defecate in open.
● LG to ensure ample provisions in MPD-2041 with regards to homeless.
● LG will take up the matter with CM to ensure interim relief.
The Lt. Governor, Shri V.K. Saxena, late night yesterday, went on a surprise visit to Raen Baseras (night shelters) at ISBT and the adjacent Hanuman Mandir. Interacting at length with the occupants in and around the shelters, Shri Saxena enquired about the facilities being provided to them and took stock of the arrangements and amenities at these Centres.
Upon witnessing that many were yet sleeping on roadsides and pavements, the Lt. Governor was informed that, while about 5000 homeless people inhabited the area, the total capacity of night shelters at the sites was only 600. Apart from this, even as the shelters provided food only to occupants registered with the shelters, there were thousands who were dependent upon charity for the same.
Apart from this, the biggest cause of concern expressed by the occupants of the shelters and those on roadsides, was the acute shortage of toilets, which forced them to use open spaces along Yamuna bank.
Shri Saxena, while appreciating the provisioning of ample quilts / blankets inside the shelter, as also satisfactory cleanliness, has expressed deep concern over the lack of sufficient capacity in the shelters and toilets around it. He also took note of the lack of cleanliness in the surrounding area due to careless disposal of paper / plastic plates and cups in the open. The Lt. Governor expressed shock that thousands were forced to defecate in the open, in the National Capital, even as remote areas in the country were achieving the goal of Open Defecation Free India. This, apart from causing direct pollution to flow into an already polluted Yamuna, was also depriving poor people of basic personal dignity and exposing them to various health hazards.
The Lt. Governor has said that he will ensure ample provisions in the MPD-2041 for housing of homeless people on the streets and provisioning of basic amenities for them. He will also be taking up the matter with the Chief Minister, so as to ensure that those forced to sleep on the streets are immediately provided with options at other locations in the city.
Upon learning from the occupants that many of them were temporary migrants workers, who served as waiters and attendants with caterers, in weddings at far off locations from the ISBT, Shri Saxena emphasized upon the need to have shelters near their place of work. This, he underlined will help the migrants in terms of saving time and expenses on transportation, apart from freeing space for those who were forced to live at ISBT due to livelihood concerns. In this regard, the LG also stressed upon a comprehensive plan for rehabilitating the beggars and drug abusers in the area.