The intense and severe cold wave has claimed seven lives in Delhi over the last two days and the number of homeless people has increased to 120 this month.
The bodies of the homeless people were found in the central areas of Delhi like Connaught Place, CR Park, Civil Lines, and Kashmere Gate.
Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) states that there are 84 permanent shelters, 111 porta cabins, 49 tents, two shelters managed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which can house 18,181 people.
Contradictory to this, Mr Sunil Kumar Aledia, head of CHD, finds these estimates inaccurate:
“Existing shelters for the homeless were not capable of housing more than 9,000 people as the per capita space allotted was “far less” than the original masterplan. The government estimate is “inflated” as the shelters cover an area of around 2.5 lakh sq feet as against 19 lakh sq feet space required as per the Delhi Master Plan for 2021.”
As per the Zonal Integrated Police Network and Ministry of Home Affairs, around 350 homeless people have died since the onset of the cold.