HYDERABAD: Gearing up to handle the long-drawn summer and monsoon months, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has finally set up three shelter homes at Yousufguda, Golnaka and Kamalanagar, in addition to the existing four (located in North, South, Central and East Zones) in the city.
An additional eight homes are also planned to be set up by this month-end, thereby taking the total tally to 15. “We have handed the keys to the new shelter homes to various interested NGOs, and MoUs with them for the same have also been signed,” said Ramakrishna Rao, Project Director for the same.
The GHMC has converted unused community halls for the purpose, and Circle 18, which falls under the North Zone (Marredpally, Secunderabad, Bansilalapet and Namalagundu areas) has the maximum number of shelter homes at four (including the previously existing one at Bible House).
The Central Zone with three shelter homes houses the second highest number.
The 15 shelter homes when pressed into full-fledged service will, according to Rao, be able to accommodate a total of 500 plus homeless people.
“We plan to set up 18 more shelter homes after March 31, one for each of the 18 circles.
The target is to reach 70 shelter homes as per the population demand of the city (one shelter home for one million people) by this year end,” he explained.
But GHMC faces the problem of unhappy neighbours due to which setting up new homes sounds easier said than done.
“The NGOs we work with have realised this problem, and now conduct special awareness classes for the neighbours living around the new homes.
The process is slow, but we need to sensitise the neighbours to the fact that homeless people don’t necessarily mean beggars and thieves.” GHMC has also set up a special team to locate and track people living on the streets and bring them to the new shelter homes.
“Over the past few months, we have identified atleast 450 people with assistance from our special team.
We are going to intensify the drive once the remaining eight shelter homes also come up by this month-end,” explained Rao.
Ali Bhakri, coordinator with the organisation APMWS, which has been entrusted with managing the 30 persons capacity shelter home at Kamalanagar expressed satisfaction at the eagerness of the GHMC officials to make a change.
“It’s nice to see that GHMC has speeded up its initiative for shelter homes.
There are minor infrastructure problems at the shelter home we manage, but we have written to the GHMC regarding the issue.
Hopefully, we expect the works to be carried out very soon.” Currently, 15 people have made this shelter house their new home.