The Delhi Government on Thursday informed the High Court that it had converted seven unused Blueline buses into night shelters for the Capital’s homeless and 20 more such buses are in the process of being acquired to shape them into shelters.
The Government has taken this decision to meet the shortfall in night shelters as well as to make them available at spots where the homeless stays but refuse to shift to permanent shelters.
Submitting an affidavit before a Division Bench of Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, the Government said: “The Blueline Transport Operators’ Association has volunteered to give seven unused buses to be used as temporary night shelters by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). “The DUSIB has got these buses converted into night shelters by removing the seats. Four of these buses have been stationed near the All-India Institute of Medical Science and three have been stationed at the Sarai Kale Khan bus terminal,’’ the affidavit said. To a Court query as to whether these converted buses had the basic amenities, counsel for the Government said they had been stationed near public toilets. The Government further stated that it had planned to acquire 20 more such buses.
Later, the Bench directed the Government to submit to it long term and short term policies for night shelters for the Capital’s homeless. It also directed the Government to apprise it of the number of deaths due to the cold weather conditions this winter.
“They (Delhi government) is directed to file an affidavit indicating the policy of the State regarding permanent facilities which they are going to create for the homeless people and also the immediate steps which they are taking for providing help in emergency situations,’’ the Bench said.