Govt fails to submit report to NHRC on night shelters

The Delhi government has failed to submit a report before the National Human Rights Commission over inadequacy of shelter homes and lack of infrastructure for homeless persons in the capital.

The commission has now given four more weeks to the government through its Chief Secretary.

Through its notices in January, the commission had directed the Delhi government to inform it about the steps taken to protect homeless persons from cold.

“The commission had taken suo motu cognizance of related media reports and registered three cases.

It observed that the pathetic conditions of homeless persons was a matter of concern as they lived in the open even during extremely cold nights,” a statement said.

Over 1.5 lakh destitute people slept on footpaths and over-bridges in Delhi either due to shortage of shelter homes or lack of facilities in existing ones.

There were only 175 shelter homes in Delhi, and they were also facing scarcity of infrastructure and sanitation. 

Two homeless persons were found dead at a distance of 30 to 40 feet from each other near a shelter home in Yamuna Pusta on January 1. On January 19, six more died in Kashmere Gate in north Delhi.

According to a plan of the Delhi Development Authority, which is yet to be implemented, there must be a night shelter in every area having one lakh population.

The commission had issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Secretary of the Social Welfare Department and the Chief Executive Officer of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, calling for reports.

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