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City's homeless get shelter thanks to govt, KMC & police

Citys homeless get shelter thanks to govt, KMC & police

Kolkata: As Bengal hankered down for the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus, the state government, Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the city police took elaborate measures to put up thousands of pavement dwellers and vagrants at establishments of the civic body to keep them safe.

Thousands of pavement dwellers were not only provided with a place to stay indoor but also with facilities including a separate bed for each one of them, food four times a day and necessary health checkup. They are also being provided with masks and made aware of the precautionary measures that need to be taken to avoid spreading of the virus.

Most importantly, KMC has overnight transformed some of its multi-storeyed buildings to provide shelter to such people. One such four-storeyed buildings in on Kalighat Temple Road where more than 350 pavement dwellers from different parts of the city were put up.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also stated that KMC and police have made arrangements for pavement dwellers at the civic body's 27 night shelters.

People present at the spot said that Mayor and the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim visited the shelter on Wednesday night. He inspected the place and made immediate arrangement for uninterrupted supply of filtered water.

A local youth, Palan Pal, who was helping the people from a non-government organisation that is working at the shelter, said that pavement dwellers from different parts of the city were sent to the place in the past two days.

On Thursday afternoon too, an assistant sub-inspector from a police station in North Kolkata was found taking three pavement dwellers to the shelter. Their names and whatever details were available were noted down by the concerned person at the shelter.

Shankar Paswan, a rickshaw puller, said: "I used to stay on the pavement after pulling rickshaw the entire day. I was apprehending that what would happen if I need to continue staying under the open sky when people are asked to stay at home that I don't have. On Wednesday night I was helped to move into the KMC's building at Kalighat."

People were found staying in almost all four floors of the building by maintaining at least 1 metre distance from each other.

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