The city wakes up in 2013 with the satisfaction of having given hope to some of the homeless for whom the flip of calendar would have made no difference. But on Tuesday they wake up with a roof over their head.

A shelter for the homeless was inaugurated on Monday evening at Bhimnagar Kalyanamantapam at Allipuram in Ward 27. The shelter was earlier run for sometime as transit home for passengers staying overnight. Now GVMC tied up with an NGO, Association for Regional Tribal Development (ARTD) urban wing, to revive the home and make it a day-night shelter thus meeting the mandate of the Supreme Court. The shelter can accommodate 100 persons. Monday night, 22 persons from near the Railway Station and Gnanapuram came there. New beds were spread on the floor. However, there is no arrangement for food.

Municipal Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana, who inaugurated the shelter called “Asray”, thanked former Union Energy Secretary E.A.S. Sarma for reminding GVMC of its responsibility. He hoped the shelter would enable them get back to normal life using the opportunity. In the next two months two more shelters would come up. Efforts would also be made to provide separate shelters for men and women.

‘Good beginning’

Mr. Sarma said it was a good beginning for 2013. Opening five, six shelters in the next few months would enable GVMC comply with the apex court’s order. The city had several homeless migrant workers right from Nellore and from other States like Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. He recalled an accident in which one homeless person was killed and another lost both his legs. ARTD secretary P. Vasu said one zone accounted for 1,250 homeless and the city was estimated to have 18,000. They should get priority in government housing schemes, he urged. Training would be given at the shelter to improve means of livelihood. A total of 14 shelters are required for the homeless.

Additional Commissioner S. Krishna Murthy, Zone Commissioner M. Viswanadham and UCD Project Director M.N.A. Patrudu participated.

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