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Govt identifies 18 beggar-free zones in city

The Delhi government has identified 18 spots in the Capital as “zero-tolerance zones” for beggars,but will wait till the end of the general elections to implement the same,keeping in mind the election code of conduct.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
May 6, 2009 1:02:45 am

Submits plans to High Court for tackling growing numbers,including raid operations and mobile beggars’ courts

The Delhi government has identified 18 spots in the Capital as “zero-tolerance zones” for beggars,but will wait till the end of the general elections to implement the same,keeping in mind the election code of conduct.

The revelation came in the submissions made by senior government counsel Mukta Gupta on Tuesday before a High Court division bench,led by Justice Badar Durrez Ahamed,regarding the headway made by the state to combat the growing presence of beggars in the city.

The 18 spots are scattered all over the city — from shopping centres to upmarket residential areas,covering all railway stations,major bus terminals and vital locations like Rajghat— in a calculated effort to improve the image of the national capital.

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Gupta gave an overview of government’s action plan,indicating that public authorities will begin anti-begging raids in July this year. Habitual beggars would be “rounded up” and sent to beggars’ homes in the city. First-timers or novices would be given a “sound warning” before being released,she said on Tuesday.

Two magistrates have already been “named” to head the mobile beggars’ courts,the counsel added.

Justice Badar Durrez Ahamed,in an earlier hearing,had remarked that the right formula would be to “eliminate poverty” from the streets rather than “hide” the poor of a city that was “dressing up” to host the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

“Begging is a human problem,” he had noted.

A report annexed with the minutes of an Advisory Committee meeting held on November 24,2008,said a three-member panel has been formed to draft a “new legislation” against begging for Delhi. The city is till date dependent on a 50-year-old law borrowed from Mumbai,called “Bombay Prevention of Begging Act,1959”.

The government had also underlined its plans of acquiring 13 vehicles for anti-begging raid operations and the installation of a biometric machine at the rehabilitation centre in Kingsway Camp to identify habitual offenders.

“We also maintain a database since January 2008. There are no repeat offenders so far,” the report claims.

City zones
Connaught Place (Inner Circle and Outer Circle)
India Gate hexagon
Purana Qila
Bhairon Road
W-Point at Tilak Marg
Bhagwan Dass Road
Rajghat,Shanti-I
South Extension 1 and 2
Greater Kailash I and II
New Delhi,Hazrat Nizamuddin and
Sarai Rohilla railway stations
Kashmere Gate,Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan ISBTs.

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