Night shelters in horrible condition: NGO tells highcourt

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 17:20 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) An NGO Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that the city government had failed to provide even basic amenities for the poor living in night shelters and they are in a "horrible" condition.

The NGO told the court that toilets at the night shelters are not functional and were "stinking".

Hearing the plea, a division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw posted the matter for Thursday for orders.

The NGO, Shahri Adhikar Manch Begharon Ke Liye, told the court that night shelters should not be far away from the homeless people.

NGO's counsel Jayant Bhushan said: "If shelters are 20 km away from where they (homeless people) work, you cannot expect them to go there at night and go back to work in the morning."

Bhushan further pleaded: "It is December and the temperature is dipping day by day. Many people die every day due to cold. For the time being some kind of temporary shelters should be provided to these people or unused building can be used."

Appearing for the Delhi government, standing counsel Najmi Waziri said that "as per the Master Plan of Delhi 2021, 150 night shelters were required and the government has made 64 permanent shelters. The rest are temporary."

Waziri further added that despite the facilities, some shelters were not occupied properly.

The court had earlier taken suo moto cognizance on a media report about the demolition of a night shelter set up by NGOs in Dec 2010 and the civic bodies doing nothing to protect the homeless from the cold.

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