HYDERABAD: Despite clear directions from Central government and Supreme Court for construction of shelters for urban homeless in different corporations and municipalities across Telangana under National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), nothing much has been done to this effect since last year.
Of the proposed 13 shelters at different places including Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Nizamabad, Jagtiyal, Ramagundam, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar and Sangareddy, not a single shelter has been constructed since the last one year. Most of these shelters have been planned near important hospitals.
Similarly, of the 11 shelters proposed for refurbishment, works could be completed hardly on three despite the availability of funds. A total amount of `18.19 crore was sanctioned for the purpose.
Meanwhile, Telangana Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (TMEPMA) mission director M Dana Kishore sent a letter to municipal commissioners of all NULM towns and additional commissioner of Urban Community Development wing of GHMC a few days ago instructing them to initiate construction as well as refurbishment of shelters immediately and submit utilisation certificate for the amounts utilised for the same so as to release balance funds.
It was found that a total of 36 urban homeless shelters were proposed under NULM. Of these, 13 were to be constructed anew, 11 to be refurbished and 12 would require operation and maintenance.
The sanction was accorded in March 2015 and even after continuous reminders, construction or refurbishment of present shelters did not start at majority of the NULM urban local bodies.
The new shelters which could not be completed till date include Hyderabad (7), Medak (3). Meanwhile, works still have to be started at shelters in Adilabad and Khammam.
Also, no refurbishment works have been started at the existing shelters in Nizamabad, Karimnagar (2), Warangal (2), Nalgonda (3). Refurbishment could be completed only at shelters in Warangal (2) and Khammam (1).
Meanwhile, GHMC officials said that several patients along with attendants hailing from different parts of Telangana as well as AP come to Hyderabad for medical treatment. The poor patients and attendants, who cannot afford to stay in lodges or hotels, are forced to either sleep on footpaths or in open areas as there are no shelters.
Realising their difficulties, GHMC is constructing spacious shelters at Osmania General Hospital, ENT Hospital, Koti, Maternity Hospital, NIMS, Niloufer Hospital, Maternity Hospital near City College, Petlaburz and Gandhi Hospital.