With the issue of night shelters for homeless remaining unsolved, the State government here on Friday made a move to mobilise resources for establishing shelters in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri.
A meeting chaired by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Sourav Garg decided to approach land administration in respective urban centres for finding suitable locations for the proposed night shelters.
A commission appointed by Supreme Court had suggested at least 15 night shelters on permanent basis for the three cities – seven for Bhubaneswar, six for Cuttack and two for Puri.
As per present status, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had made two temporary night shelters operational in 2010.
However, the basic necessary infrastructure like electricity, bed-roll, toilets, drinking water and food were not available in the night shelters.
According to a survey conducted by a city-based reputed B-school, about 450 homeless were found in the capital city in 2010.
At the meeting it was decided that BMC would move General Administration for identifying land measuring around 2000 square feet preferably nearer to Railway Station, Bus Terminal and Temples to build night shelter on permanent basis.
Senior officials said since there were no guidelines regarding functioning and funding for night shelters, convergence of resources would be required for upcoming night shelters.
Suggestions from Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Women and Child Welfare departments would be sought if they could incorporate beneficiaries of night shelters in any of their welfare programmes.
In fact, BMC had floated expression of interest for functioning night-shelters. An NGO had expressed its keenness to run these shelters on no profit and no-loss basis.
The meeting asked other two centres such as Cuttack and Puri to study the BMC's experiment.
The Apex Court has laid out clear action plan for homeless people living without shelters in cities.