Court asks government to publicise night shelters

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the state government to give wide publicity about the availability of night shelters for homeless people in the capital.

Acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta, who constituted a bench, directed the Delhi government to give wide publicity as to where the night shelters are located and inform homeless people about them.

The court also directed the Urban Rights Forum for the Homeless representative Miloon Kothari to prepare a short-term plan for the homeless in the city by Feb 24.

Asha Menon, member secretary of the Delhi Legal Services Authority, said she had visited four night shelters but many of them lacked basic amenities.

Earlier, the court pulled up the government for not taking proper care of the homeless.

The court suo motu took up a hearing based on a newspaper report highlighting the plight of people rendered homeless after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) demolished a structure on Pusa Road in west Delhi.

‘Instead of providing shelter to the homeless, the officials forcefully threw away the belongings of families living in the shelter, saying they could only stay there at night. The majority of these families are forced to stay under a flyover during cold nights,’ Kothari said.

There are about 150,000 homeless people in Delhi and the government runs 40 night shelters.

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