According to shocking stats that have been released by the Center for Holistic Development (CHD), Delhi witnessed deaths of around 3,347 homeless people in the year 2016 alone.
The shocking report also stated that around 161 of these deaths were reported in the month of December alone.
The figure now raises questions on the working of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) which works under the Urban Development ministry.
DUSIB is responsible for maintaining shelters for the homeless in Delhi and in 2016 was allocated funding of 35 crores, to maintain its shelters.
There are 262 shelters in the city right now, which comprises of 115 porta cabins, 81 buildings, 64 tents and two subways.
Though CHD’s Executive Director, Sunil Aledia, denies such huge number of deaths and has said that the report is solely based on the numbers of unidentified bodies found on the streets of Delhi last year.
“The report compiled by us is solely based on the number of unidentified dead bodies recovered by the police throughout the year. As per government policy, unidentified people living on the streets are considered homeless.”
Further Delhi government is claiming that no homeless person in Delhi died due to the winter last year.
According to DUSIB’s Bipin Rai, there were only three unidentified deaths in December 2016 and none of those were caused by cold.
“There have been three unidentified deaths this month, but none of them were because of the cold. But if any such death has been reported, then it’s a cause of concern. The government is working constantly to create more shelters.”
Rai also added that Kejriwal started free meal service for the homeless and that they are now provided free meal thrice a day, at 10 specific shelters.