The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday directed Municipal authorities here to ensure proper shelter for the poor visiting the city during the two-month-long Maha Kumbh commencing on January 14.

A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Dilip Gupta passed the order while disposing of a petition filed by civil rights group PUCL.

The petitioner had sought a direction to the Allahabad Nagar Nigam for setting up of “rain baseras” (night shelters) for poor pilgrims who are expected to visit the city during the Maha Kumbh.

It was submitted on behalf of the Nagar Nigam that as many as 24 make-shift “rain baseras” had been built across the city in addition to 11 permanent night shelters which were coming up.

The petitioner’s lawyer alleged that out of the “rain baseras” already in place, as many as seven were locked from outside and, therefore, not accessible to people.

The Bench ordered that the “rain baseras”, which were currently locked, too should be made available to the public during the commencement of the Maha Kumbh.

It directed the Nagar Nigam to place advertisements in local dailies informing the people about the night shelters and their locations.

“It is the duty of the respondents (Nagar Nigam) to ensure that those in need of shelter in the city of Allahabad do not suffer on account of extreme poverty.

“Please make sure that nobody feels compelled to sleep in the cold weather without a roof over their head,” the Bench said.