Plastic tents at night shelters to be replaced with porta cabins

In a major step to provide relief to the homeless in the Capital, the Delhi Government on Wednesday made an announcement to replace all night shelters being run from plastic tents with porta cabins.

Currently, there are 150 night shelters run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. The night shelters in various parts of the Capital are both permanent and temporary .

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also instructed all the Sub-Divisional Magistrates to conduct inspection of such places where homeless people are living in open under the shelter of flyovers. The SDMs have been asked to prepare a list of the areas where night shelters are required and submit it to the Chief Minister’s office by January 4. A Non-Government Organisation “Ashraya Abhiyan” has also been roped in to conduct inspection of such places and find out the locations.

Addressing a press conference on the issue, Mr. Kejriwal said: “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. We have passed an order today to replace those tents with porta cabins in 3-4 days time. Our Ministers Manish Sisodia and Rakhi Birla conducted inspection at 45 night shelters across the Capital and found out 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 Mr Kejriwal.

Mr. Kejriwal informed that he has instructed the concerned Department to convert all the shelters running in tents into porta cabins within three days and submit the completion report to him.

Not long ago, the Delhi High Court had rapped the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) for lack of proper information regarding preparations in the night shelters for the homeless. The Court also directed DUSIB to call a meeting of all government bodies and NGOs involved in the arrangement of night shelters for the homeless. However, no concrete step has been taken so far to improve the condition of the homeless.

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