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Use CP parking lot, schools as night shelters, govt told

The court clarified that the ‘temporary’ shelters could be used only at night and cleared out in the morning for their regular use

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
December 19, 2014 1:23:25 am

Expressing concern over the lack of adequate shelters for the homeless, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to approach various schools and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to use school buildings and the NDMC underground parking lot at Connaught place as “temporary” night shelters. The court also clarified that the “temporary” shelters could be used only at night and cleared out in the morning for their regular use.

The court of Chief Justice Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also directed the NDMC to allow the use of the underground parking, “unless for valid reasons it is not deemed feasible”. The court has also directed DUSIB to approach schools, which are in the vicinity of the homeless population, to consider whether the buildings can be used as shelters at night.

“Needless to state that when we suggested using buildings as night shelters, we could not have meant that those buildings also be used during the day as shelters. We clarify that DUSIB is free to approach owners/land owning agencies of public buildings/spaces, which are available at night for use as night shelters. DUSIB would be entitled to occupy the same in the night and to leave early morning to ensure the designated use of the space during the day,” the court said.

The court has also noted that the St Columba’s school, Gole Market, had opened its basement for the homeless last year. It asked DUSIB to contact school principals in the vicinity of the areas where large number of homeless live, to consider the possibility of making similar arrangements.

The court also noted that DUSIB had not understood its previous order to consider using buildings owned by government agencies as shelters and said “it should approach the concerned agencies”.

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