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Court wants long-term plan for city’s homeless


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday asked the government to chalk out a long-term plan for the capital’s homeless. The order comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court directive to provide night shelters to all the homeless of the capital immediately.

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “The Delhi government in association with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will chalk out a detailed long-term plan according to the Master Plan 2021 that has the provision of 140 shelters.”

The court asked the Delhi Chief Secretary to convene a meeting Feb 4 with all other departments and non-government organisations working in this field, and file a status report by Feb 10.

Nazmi Wazhiri, counsel for the Delhi government, submitted that adequate arrangements have been made and 78 more night shelters have been started for the homeless, including temporary and permanent ones.

“As far as measures are concerned, these are short-term ones and have taken place due to the sudden fall in temperature. We have to plan for the future also,” the bench said.

The court also directed that all temporary shelters will remain till March 31 and will be removed only after taking the court’s permission.

The court also directed the government to conduct a survey as to where and of what capacity these shelters will be of.

The MCD informed the court that Motia Khan complex is ready and some people have shifted there as well.

The court was hearing a suo motu case based on a newspaper report highlighting the plight of people rendered homeless after the MCD demolished a structure on the Pusa Road on west Delhi.

The MCD had submitted that the action was taken as people had encroached upon the land and did not vacate it despite several warnings.

The Supreme Court Wednesday pulled up the Delhi government for not providing shelter to the homeless. It ordered the government to provide night shelters to all of them immediately, complete with food and toilets.