HYDERABAD: With the advent of winter in Telangana, the MAUD department has asked GHMC and all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to prepare a winter action plan to accommodate all urban homeless people in shelters. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has directed the State government to implement the plan by the first week of December, 2021 before the temperatures drop further.
During winter, across the city, one can find homeless people on pavements, platforms of railway stations and underneath flyovers. They are usually sitting or sleeping with blankets wrapped around them in open areas, without a roof over their heads. Some of them gather around fires to get protection from the cold. Poor people, mostly elderly ones, and disabled and mentally challenged persons are also among the homeless.
Sources told Express that the ULBs have been advised to mobilise homeless persons by identifying hotspots where they congregate, by taking up a bi-weekly survey in each hotspot, and then shift them to shelters for urban homeless (SUH). Covid test and basic health check-up will be conducted for the beneficiaries, and a database of their records will be maintained.
In case of inadequate capacity of SUHs, temporary shelters may be arranged, which will be equipped with facilities like heating, bedding, sanitiser, hand wash, drinking water, toilet and other arrangements, in compliance with SUH guidelines.
In Greater Hyderabad limits, nearly 15 shelter homes are maintained by NGOs. The SUHs should be disinfected regularly and residents should be sensitised with regard to precautionary measures to be followed to combat the effects of the pandemic. All these exercises need to be completed by the first week of December. GHMC and the ULBs have been told to submit a compliance report on the action plan to MoHUA by December 5.