BENGALURU: With the Lok Sabha elections over, the welfare department of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is slowly bringing its attention back to the exercise of setting up shelters for the homeless. The previous deadlines for the initiative have been missed due to administrative delays and the polling exercise.
Thirty shelters were supposed to be up and running by March-end. A total of 50 were identified by the civic agency in association with Impact India, a consortium of NGOs who surveyed the number of the urban homeless and identified existing government buildings that could be turned into shelters.
“Now that elections are done with, we will begin working on the shelters. Two buildings will be ready after renovation by May-end and eight more by the end of June. We will call for tenders next month, and until then we are ready to run the shelters with our own staff,” D Randeep, Special Commissioner (Welfare), BBMP, said.
“The refurbishment is in process and a state committee is reviewing our fund proposal from the National Urban Livelihood Mission,” an official told CE.
Udaykumar, the co-founder and director of Impact India, expressed his disappointment over the delay. “We did not expect the pace of executing the project to be this slow,” he said, adding that the project has been delayed due to bureaucratic reasons. “We shared with BBMP details of 5,109 homeless people in all eight zones,” he pointed out, talking about how the team conducted surveys during the rains, and observed homeless people gathering all their belongings and standing under shops to protect themselves.
“With the monsoon season beginning next month, it is going to be difficult for them to live on the streets,” Udaykumar said, adding, “The tender should be called immediately. BBMP running the shelters is not practical as the staffers need experience to handle the homeless with care.”