States, UTs to conduct survey of urban homeless

States, UTs to conduct survey of urban homeless

New Delhi: Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri speaks in the Rajya Sabha on the first day of the Monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.

The Centre has issued instructions to all states and union territories to conduct third party "systematic survey" of urban homeless, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

In a written reply, Puri said states and UTs have recently been allowed to take buildings on rent for establishing shelters on an interim arrangement till 2022 until permanent shelters are set up.

He said there are 201 shelters in Delhi and 13 shelters in Mumbai operational under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).

"Instructions have been issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to all states/UTs to conduct a third party systematic survey of urban homeless," Puri said.

In reply to another question, the minister said the Committee on Urban Homeless, constituted as per the Supreme Court order dated November 11, 2016, has pointed out that a huge gap exists between number of urban homeless and capacity of the shelters in states and UTs.

In September last year, the apex court had favoured an audit of government funds meant for providing shelters to the urban homeless.

The apex court, while suggesting an audit of the money disbursed by the Centre to the states for a scheme under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), had also said it could "possibly" be done by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

It said that these funds, which were meant for a specific purpose, should not be diverted. 

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