Winter action plan for homeless begins

| | New Delhi
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Winter action plan for homeless begins

Thursday, 07 December 2023 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Homeless people in the national capital are being shifted to temporary tents set up by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board as part of the city government’s winter action plan, officials said on Wednesday.

 A meeting of the joint apex advisory committee was held in the first week of November to rescue homeless people and provide shelter to them. The committee comprises nodal officials of the Delhi Jal Board, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and Delhi Police, a DUSIB official told PTI.

 “Delhi government’s winter action plan for the homeless has started and rescue teams have also been deployed to shift them to the temporary tents,” the official said.

 He said 110 tents have been set up in the city for the homeless and 15 rescue teams have been deployed on the ground who are spreading awareness about the arrangements.

 “Around 30 to 40 more tents will be set up soon. We conduct surveys and accordingly chalk out the locations where tents need to be set up,” the official said.

 The teams identify the clusters and inform the control room that sends volunteers to shift the homeless to the temporary tents.  Teams of doctors are also visiting the temporary shelters twice a week.

 “The homeless are being provided food and tea and this is something that we do all year long. We also keep track of the work that is happening,” the DUSIB official said.

 According to the Delhi government, there are 195 DUSIB shelter homes, which are functional in Delhi at present with a total capacity of 7,092 people. The new tents will accommodate about 2,000 more people on potential sites of high concentration to meet the increased demand for shelters during winter.

 Additional tents will further be installed, if required, based on the requirement of shelters.

 Teams have started to rescue the homeless people lying on the roadside or open spaces/parks from 10 pm to 4 am every day and each rescue team is equipped with one vehicle, driver and two attendants.

 After receiving the information from DUSIB control room or from other sources, rescue team responds to pick up the homeless person from the identified location and take them to nearby shelter or hospital as per requirement.

 “The main function of the Joint Apex Advisory Committee (JAAC) is to ensure better inter-departmental coordination among all the departments to ensure necessary civic amenities for homeless people in the shelter homes for the successful implementation of the winter action plan. Divisional Executive Engineers regularly check the upkeep and day-to-day maintenance of the shelter homes,” a notice from the Delhi government said.

 A centralised control room with dedicated staff is functional at Punarwas Bhawan, I.P. Estate, New Delhi to monitor and assist the rescue teams. The control room receives complaints/information 24x7 through a dedicated helpline, mobile app, and from other sources.

 The control room toll free number is 14461, 011-23378789 and 011-23370560 (landline) and +919871013284 (WhatsApp).

 Mobile App ‘Rain Basera’ to track and rescue the homeless person has been made operational, which can be downloaded from Google Play store, the notice read.

 “Any person who comes across a homeless person lying/residing along the roadside can simply click a photograph in his/her smart phone and submit it to central control room. The central control room automatically locates the sender/homeless person through GPS and informs the rescue teams to rescue the homeless person,” the notice read.

 The notice further said that the DUSIB has started coordination with health department, DJB, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and other civic agencies to ensure the availability of basic amenities to the homeless people residing in the night shelters.

 Facilities available at the shelter home includes television, drinking water, toilet facility, lockers for belongings (where-ever available), complaint box, first aid box and nothing is charged for availing said facilities.

 One caretaker has been allotted for each shelter home who remains available for eight hours a day, along with a female security guard.

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