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Shelter homes: SC orders independent verification of fund utilisation

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered independent verification of utilisation of funds for setting up of shelter homes for urban poor across the country.

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit, directed that National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in assistance with the legal services authorities of various states would carry out the independent verification on the implementation of the scheme and place the actual factual position within eight weeks.

The order was passed after advocate ER Kumar, who filed the PIL, submitted that he was satisfied with the scheme but has doubts over its implementation as it was not clear whether the amount received by states have been properly utilised.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said the scheme prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation was in place and there was a proper mechanism for monitoring the utilisation of funds. The court was informed that 623 such shelter homes have been sanctioned.

Earlier, the Apex Court had rapped the Centre for not properly monitoring the scheme meant for shelter-less urban poor and had asked the Secretary of Union Urban Development Ministry to personally appear before it. The court had pulled up the Centre for not effectively monitoring the implementation of the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM).

The Centre had said efforts were on to make the shelters liveable and the government was taking the matter with “utmost seriousness”. The Centre has provided Rs 1,078 crore to states under the scheme which is meant to provide shelters to homeless people in urban centres of the country.
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