Over 1.1k homeless shunned night shelters, claims DUSIB
NEW DELHI: A week after the CEO of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) was show-caused by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the agency has come out with data claiming that they have failed to persuade over 1,100 homeless people in the city to temporarily move into night shelters.
"The government has been informed that roughly 1,167 people scattered across the city have rejected repeated attempts by rescue teams to place them in night shelters," said an official.
In his letter to the Delhi Revenue Secretary last month, DUSIB member (Engineering) MK Tyagi wrote, "It has been reported by the rescue teams that about 1,167 persons found in different parts of Delhi during rescue operations were reluctant or refused to shift to the nearby night shelters."
These reasons, as per the DUSIB report, include fear of theft, locations, lack of space among others.
The letter mentioned that in addition to the above, 30 families displaced from the Kathputli Colony JJ camp have been spotted on pavements under the Shadipur flyover in west Delhi."They are displaced persons of the Kathputli Colony JJ camp, which has been recently demolished by the Delhi Development Authority," Tyagi wrote.
The largest concentration of such homeless people, not willing to move to shelters, are in areas such as the Kashmere Gate ISBT, Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place and AIIMS. According to a list attached to the letter, the numbers are 200 near the ISBT, 200 near AIIMS, 150 in Safdarjung, 50 near Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and 20 near Hanuman Mandir.
Last week, the plight of the homeless had emerged as yet another flashpoint between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, after Kejriwal accused Baijal of putting a "useless officer" in-charge of the DUSIB.
Kejriwal had targeted DUSIB CEO Shurbir Singh after a section of the media, quoting an NGO working in this area, claimed that there have been as many as 44 homeless deaths in January so far.
Singh had categorically rejected the reports claiming there are multiple factors behind the deaths of the homeless and it cannot be associated with the cold.