The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board has written to Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi, requesting his assistance in checking drug addiction in homeless shelters.
During inspection of night shelters, DUSIB officials found several residents under the influence of drugs. “Drug peddling is rampant in the Yamuna Pushta and Baba Kharak Singh Marg areas. Many of the homeless in these areas are habitually taking drugs,” the letter states.
At several shelters, caretakers have complained about residents selling blankets provided by the government to buy drugs. DUSIB confirmed this. “It is requested to give strict directions to police officers to check the menace of sale of drugs and drug peddling,” the letter reads.
A senior police officer said, “We have taken cognizance of the problem and are looking into it. We are trying to control the menace.”
The Lt-Governor was also apprised of the situation.
The inspection was carried out to monitor Shelter Management Agency (SMA) System, implemented by DUSIB earlier this month. Under the system, a large NGO manages 20 to 24 shelters each.
Nitesh Kumar, project coordinator for Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses, said, “Around 70 to 80 per cent of the homeless in the city are addicted to drugs. This includes children as young as 12 years.”