While the poor have already started shivering in cold under the open sky in the night, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has begun the process and floated tenders for temporary night shelters for Rs 1.37 crore.
According to the tender, the estimated cost is around Rs 1,37,83,500 and the earnest money deposit that has to be submitted is Rs 2,75,670.
The time limit, which the tender specifies, for which the night shelters have to be set up is three months and a half.
According to the claims made by the corporation, they intend to make the night shelters functional by December 15. However, it appears not to be possible because the bid submission time is up to December 12 and thereafter technical bids will open.
The corporation sets up these night shelters near PGI, Sector 19, ISBT Sector 43, near Sai temple in Sector 30, Sector 9, Sector 16, near railway station and various other places.
Asked as to why there was a delay in setting up the night shelters, a senior officer of the corporation said that they got the go-ahead late from the department of social welfare.
The chairman of the Chandigarh Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh, Baljinder Singh Bittu, said, “Is it of any use to set up night shelters so late? It is already freezing at night because it gets windy. There are hundreds who sleep out in the open.”
PGI complex is the area which is in dire need of more and more night shelters. The attendants prefer to stay at a gurdwara in PGI complex to spend their nights.
There are 85 double-deck beds that are arranged in four rows there. This gurdwara gives shelter to many patients and attendants the winter.
Not only stay but food is also available 24X7.
The gurdwara is being run by 96-year-old Baba Labh Singh of Anandpur Sahib. Over 3,000 people stay on the premises every night during the season.
Although the hall provides bed facility to only 170 people, others sleep on carpets spread across the floor. As this hall cannot accommodate the winter rush, carpets are spread out in the first floor hall as well. The gurdwara also provides a limited number of quilts and bedding.
There is a sarai close to the building but people don’t prefer it because of their high daily rental.