New Delhi Sept 27(ILNS): The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), today, informed the Delhi High Court that the newly constructed night shelter for homeless persons at Jawahar Shramik Sthal in Delhi’s Kashmere Gate area is ready for its opening and the same will be made operational on or before October 10.
The Division comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing a plea alleging that the newly constructed homeless night shelter has not been made operational despite being ready for long, for want of inauguration.
In light of the submissions made by Advocate Parvinder Chauhan, representing DUSIB, the Bench disposed of the plea, and in respect of other grievances ventilated in the petition, asked the Delhi Government and the DUSIB to decide in accordance with the law, the representation dated September 9, 2021, made by the petitioner.
The Bench noted thus: “So far as other players are concerned, we hereby direct the concerned respondent authorities to decide the representation of the petitioner… and to decide the same in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies applicable to the facts of the case as expeditiously as possible and practicable.”
A petition has been filed by one Sunil Kumar Aledia, who is a social activist working for the rights of poor homeless persons throughout the national capital, through Advocates Kamlesh Kumar Mishra and Nitin Kumar Nayak.
The petition relies on the decision of the Apex Court in “Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation v. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan & Ors.”, (1997) 11 SCC 121, wherein it was observed that it is the duty of the State to provide shelter to the poor and indigent weaker sections of the society in fulfillment of constitutional objectives.
Claiming that the State has a constitutional duty to provide adequate facilities, including shelter, for the weaker sections, the plea points out that a major fire broke out in a shelter home near Jawahar Shramik Sthal in April last year, destroying Permanent Shelters (Porta Cabins) that could hold a total capacity of 200 persons. Now, people are forced to sleep in open on pavements, the plea claims.
The plea states that- “For past 8 Months a New Night Shelter Structure is ready and locked and is not being opened while the homeless population is Drenching itself in the rain and the weather however the gates of the same is being kept locked for a ribbon to be tied and for scissors to arrive.”
The plea highlights that a representation was made to DUSIB on September 9, 2021, requesting for opening of newly constructed Porta Cabin on an immediate basis. The plea further highlights that a newspaper named “Sandhya Times” published an article on the plight of the homeless persons of the at Jawahar Shramik Sthal.
The plea, in addition to seeking opening of the alleged shelter which is ready since more than eight months, also prays for reconstruction of two damaged night shelters located at Kashmere Gate.
Further, the plea seeks forthwith arrangement of adequate water and electricity facilities, Bio-toilets, simple breakfast and dry ration for the homeless population based in shelter homes./ILNS/BG/KR/SNG