BMC to setup night shelter for 47,000 homeless Mumbaikars
By Lokmat English Desk | Published: December 1, 2023 11:48 AM2023-12-01T11:48:40+5:302023-12-01T12:43:22+5:30
India's richest civic body is providing nighttime shelter to only five per cent of the city’s homeless population. According ...
India's richest civic body is providing nighttime shelter to only five per cent of the city’s homeless population. According to a recent survey by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), there are around 47,000 such citizens in the city. In such a scenario, Mumbai's civic body has devised a plan to establish shelter centers across its 24 wards. The planning department is calling upon social organizations, banks, corporations, entrepreneurs, and industry groups to take the lead in operating these centers. In a survey conducted in the island city, it was found that around 47,000 migrants live on pavements and encroach footpaths. Locals had also complained to city’s guardian minister Deepak Kesarkar about the issue in a meeting and an order was issued to construct night shelters in every ward and a scheme to rehabilitate the migrants.
Despite the municipality's efforts to integrate them into society through various activities, the existing shelter infrastructure falls short, comprising only 11 shelters for children and 15 for adults. Consequently, thousands of homeless citizens persist in residing on roads, footpaths, flyovers, and open spaces. A 2010 Supreme Court directive mandated one shelter home for every 1 lakh population. By now, the municipality should have prepared 125 shelter homes. Despite receiving financial aid of Rs.8 crore 68 lakh 14 thousand 184 from the National Urban Employment Mission-Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana, only 15 shelters have been constructed in 13 years. The municipality's persistent efforts to increase shelter numbers have faced challenges, underscoring the necessity for collective action from the community, businesses, and organizations to alleviate the suffering of the homeless during harsh weather conditions. With no proper roofs over their heads, many individuals find shelter on sidewalks or wherever they can secure a place. The population of such homeless people is on a constant rise in Mumbai, exacerbated further by recent layoffs. While municipal shelters aim to address this issue, even this system is under threat. Despite reaching out to various government agencies like MMRDA, SRA, MSRDC, BPT, MHADA for new shelter locations, the municipality is yet to receive a positive response.