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Ace to save face: govt plans to round up beggars on Games route

The Delhi government’s Social Welfare department has created 12 flying squads to travel through the city and round up beggars from traffic signals...

The Delhi government’s Social Welfare department has created 12 flying squads to travel through the city and round up beggars from traffic signals and pavements to make the Capital a beggar-free city,at least partially,by next October’s Commonwealth Games.

The drive is set to begin from August first week. Top officials said the department is also in the process of setting up a five-digit 24×7 helpline number to register complaints against beggars.

Delhi’s Social Welfare Minister Mangat Ram Singhal said: “We have hired 12 vans for the time being and each squad will be assisted by the area police since beggars might try to resist being taken away. These squads will act upon complaints received,and also keep a vigil in the area.”

Once the beggars are picked up,they would be taken to the first beggar mobile court,being set up in Lajpat Nagar,and challaned according to the Bombay Prevention of Beggars Act,1959 — the Act is also applicable in the Capital.

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As per its action plan submitted in the Delhi High Court,which is monitoring the government’s efforts to curb begging in the Capital,the government has decided to set up two mobile courts this year. The one at Lajpat Nagar will start operations next month,officials said.

The drive is set to begin from the New Delhi region and will later cover ‘VIP’ areas like Dhaula Kuan and routes that athletes and visitors would use during the Commonwealth Games,according to officials.

Those charged repeatedly for the same offence would be sent to the government-run beggar home in Ampur,Northwest Delhi,the minister said.

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While the government had submitted a plan of maintaining biometric records of beggars to build a database,Singhal said the exercise would not work in the long run as the city sees a huge influx of people every day. “We are working on an efficient method of doing a census on beggars in the Capital but it would take some time,” the minister said.

First published on: 18-07-2009 at 12:31:18 am
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