Non-governmental organisations will be roped in to run 15 night shelters in the city. A resolution to this effect was passed by the Chennai Corporation Council and MoUs will be signed with NGOs including The Banyan.
The Chennai Corporation has set up 15 night shelters in areas such as R.R. Nagar in Kodungaiyur, Desiya Nagar in New Washermenpet, Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet, Kannappar Thidal, Rajaji Salai, Chintadripet, Sembium, Choolai, Teynampet, Mandaveli, Santhome, Chinmaya Nagar and Saidapet. The NGOs will use the facilities to help the homeless in the city including women and children.
A few months ago, the Chennai Corporation had announced that it would open eight more night shelters for the homeless, taking the number of such facilities to 23. The new night shelters were proposed to be set up in Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Alandur, Sholinganallur, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam and Perungudi.
The announcement was following an inspection of the existing shelters by members of a Supreme Court-appointed committee. The report of the night shelters has been submitted to the Supreme Court after the visit of the members to shelters in Koyambedu, Chintadripet, Vallal Seethakadhi Nagar, Kodungaiyur, Kannnapar Thidal, Doomingkuppam and Thattankulam.
The NGOs are expected to improve conditions in the shelters such as the one in Kannappar Thidal, home to nearly 100 families, who originally lived on the streets near Ripon Building and Periamet. The facility is the only night shelter for families. Other facilities offer shelter to those who do not have any family support.
The shelters have locker facilities for those who stay there. The total number of night shelters required in the city is 66. The figure has been arrived at based on directions of the Supreme Court.
Over 11,000 homeless people were identified in a survey based on which the night shelters were opened.