Vacant govt buildings to serve as night shelters for homeless

Lucknow, Dec 12 : The homeless will now have a roof over the heads to protect them from the winter chill.

District magistrate Suryapal Gangwar has said that vacant government buildings and marriage lawns in the state capital will be used as temporary night shelters while the facilities in existing night shelters will be upgraded.

Besides, arrangements like hot water, blankets, and medical kits will also be ensured in shelters. Ambulances and other facilities will be made available, he added.

“There are 17 permanent and seven temporary night shelters in the city, being operated through voluntary organisations and Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC). More shelters will be opened in coming days if the temperature further drops,” he added.

He said that officers have been asked to distribute blankets to the needy and ensure availability of hot water, toilets and other basic amenities at shelter homes.

“This move will help daily wage labourers, destitute and homeless people get shelter to bear the cold wave,” the district magistrate said.

Lucknow Municipal Corporation Commissioner Indirajit Singh said, “We have also issued a helpline number of the Control and Command Centre to receive information about night shelters, complaints about the facilities and request for medical help in the shelters.”

Besides, he said, LMC has identified 860 points that have been marked for bonfires.

Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia said, “We want to make sure that no one sleeps in the open. The Adarsh Vyapar Mandal has assured to start community kitchens in 10 night shelters.”