Six more die due to cold, winter toll touches 401

 With six more homeless persons found dead in different parts of Delhi late on Wednesday night, the toll of destitute shivering to death has crossed the 400-mark this winter season.

Since December 1 last year, a total of 401 homeless persons have died at different locations across Delhi. This year itself, 180 such people have succumbed to the cold weather conditions.

NGOs working to provide shelter the homeless from the winter cold, said last winter, a total of 1,127 persons lost their lives to the winter cold. The data is from November 1, 2012 to March 31 last year.

This year, the most number of deaths have been reported from north Delhi and Kashmere Area in particular. Lack of sufficient shelter homes in this area has forced organisations working for the destitute.

They claimed that about 2,500 homeless persons are left to sleep in the open. Only 400 such people can be accommodated in the 10 shelter homes in the area.
The rate at which the homeless people are dying due to cold had forced the National Human Rights Commission to take notice. It had issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government on six deaths that took place on the rain-hit night of January 18.

Despite Arvind Kejriwal’s government’s promise to set up porta cabins at 45 locations in the city, the government is yet to come up with a concrete policy to protect them. In the name of porta cabins, plastic shelters, in bad shape, have been put in place. The NGOs working for the homeless said the e-tendering adopted by the government for a transparent process was what hit the plan for porta cabins.

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