40 urban centres to be set up for the homeless by March

40 urban centres to be set up for the homeless by March

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to set up around 40 permanent shelters across the city for the homeless people by next winter. This would come as a huge relief for the thousands sleeping out in the open on the streets and pavements of Bengaluru.

The civic body, responsible for providing urban shelters, has been conducting a survey of the homeless in various zones. The survey found that the existing shelters are inadequate for accommodating the increasing number of homeless in the city. 

To temporarily track the issue, recently, the BBMP invited applications from interested voluntary organisations, religious institutions and other entities, for running urban centres for the homeless on a rental basis. This is under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Scheme or the National Urban Livelihoods Mission.

Speaking to DH, BBMP Special Commissioner, Randeep D said,  “As the city requires more shelter homes by March 2019, the BBMP will be setting up 40 shelter homes across the city, while upgrading the six existing shelters.”

“Whoever comes forward to give their premises for the urban homeless, the BBMP will pay a rent through an agreement. We are looking for temporary shelter homes for this winter season, which will at least serve the homeless till February 2019,” he added.

The Supreme Court in 2010, directed all the state governments to set up shelters for the homeless, especially in towns with a population of 1 lakh and more. On Sunday, DH had carried a story headlined ‘Homeless brave chill as mercury dips in Bengaluru’ -- a closer look at the state of the city’s homeless. 

The BBMP’s survey conducted along with not-for-profits, identified 1,526 homeless people in the West zone and at least 2,200 in the South. The BBMP is to start a survey in the East zone from Wednesday.

A team of officials from the BBMP’s welfare department will visit New Delhi in January 2019 to study the shelter homes run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). “In New Delhi, the shelters are maintained well. The model of the urban centres for the homeless in the national capital, can be adopted in Bengaluru. The centres there have amenities like heaters, warm clothing, and beds,” explained Randeep.