Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely summoned a meeting of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to review the functioning of night shelters in the city.
While a team of experts will inspect the functioning of Delhi’s 150 night shelters over the next three days, the government announced the construction of another 26 ‘green’ night shelters.
“The Delhi Government is going to construct 26 model night shelters with green building technology. Each revenue district will have at least two shelters so that more homeless people can be accommodated,” Lovely said.
He said the DUSIB would take the matter up with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
“There are 150 night shelters managed by the DUSIB. This include 84 temporary and 66 permanent shelters. With the prevailing cold conditions in Delhi, eight teams have been constituted to inspect the functioning of night shelters and submit a report in three days,” Lovely said.
He said all basic facilities - blankets, mats, drinking water, first aid and sanitation - would be provided across the national capital.
According to Lovely, the total capacity of permanent night shelters was 9,400 and the capacity of temporary shelters was 4,200. Another 2,000 could be accommodated in the present night shelters as required.
The Delhi government has earmarked Rs 6 crore for the 2012-13 financial year to construct, manage and maintain shelters in Delhi.
“We will soon start a publicity campaign to create awareness amongst those who need such shelters the most,” Lovely said.
”I’ve been employed as a guard at Jorbagh for 18 years now. For all of those years, I have always been on night duty, from 10 at night to 6 in the morning. This colony has Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter living here, among other industrialists, so this is a priority area for the company that employs us. Our duty is to check vehicles that enter and leave. To beat the cold, all we have is a few cups of tea, the clothes on our backs, and fire.”
Security guard at Jor Bagh colony
“I have this auto on contract. And the maalik only lets me drive it from 7 pm to 7 am. I have three children back home in Bihar, for whom I have to send back money every month. The auto has no curtains or glass at the back, but I can’t repair that because I don’t own the auto. It gets cold, but it’s