BENGALURU : Twelve existing buildings and three empty or under-construction sites will be turned into shelters for the homeless in the city. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) – which has identified these structures – aims to have 10 among these up and running by January end.
According to details shared by the welfare department, existing BBMP offices not in use have been chosen for this purpose. Others are centres which are already being run by NGOs meant for women. “In the west zone, for instance, we have identified BBMP’s office on Goods Shed Road which will provide a roof to 132 people. 5,000 people can be accommodated into the KR Market building on the second floor.
In the south zone, Giriamma Maternity Hospital will house 60 homeless women. The back entrance of the multi-level car parking on JC Road has an unused space that can accomodate 40 people,” said Deputy Commissioner (Welfare) Jagadeesh.The BBMP will also tie up with NGOs that are already running centres for the homeless. “In Anepalya, Shantinagar, the Nightingale Medical Trust has beds, individual bathrooms for 70 women at their Sandhya Suraksha centre. In Hennur, the Holy Cross Mercy home houses 16 women.
In Kalasipalyam, the Mariamma temple already provides shelter for 100 to 150 people at a cost of `20 per night. BBMP will cover this cost from now on and provide foldable beds,” said Jagadeesh.
BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Welfare) D Randeep said that the target is to have 30 functional centres by March 31. “We are focusing on places where work opportunities are close by. For example, construction workers, porters and other labourers who work at Majestic Railway station, KR Market, etc.
has several ward offices, community halls and even mustering centres where pourakarmikas mark their attendance in the mornings. These are left unused through the night,” he said. In Jakkur ward, Yelahanka, a shelter is under construction. A 2,000 square feet empty site in Vijinapura and a dilapidated government building in JC Road are being redone as well. Other locations include Queens Road, Summanahalli, Hoodi, Tulasi Thota road and PC road.
The Supreme Court in 2010 directed all the state governments to set up homeless shelters for populations of 10 lakh or more. They directed that a minimum of one shelter should be made available for a population of one lakh people. Sadly, apathy by the state has seen only six shelters made available in the last nine years. It was only in October 2018 that the civic body began conducting surveys with the help of NGOs to take stock of the situation.
■ Rooms in three floors of Dasappa Maternity hospital (96 women)
■ BBMP office, electrical training institute, computer training institute on Queens Road (54 men, 76 women)
■ Two floors in Summanahalli Samudaya Bhavan (100 women, 150 people)
■ BBMP health office, Kengeri
■ BBMP office, Hoodi
■ Rooftop of BBMP health office in Tualsi Thota road (80 people)
■ PC road (100 people)