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HC asks BMC to seek land for night shelters for homeless

Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed Mumbai civic body BMC to forward a proposal to the Maharashtra government seeking allotment of land for night shelters which can be used by homeless people.

A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka asked Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to forward its proposal to the state government’s Urban Development Department within a fortnight. The government has been directed to then take a decision on the issue by October 17.

The court said the government shall consider earmarking sites for construction of night shelters.

The directions were passed during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by NGO ‘Homeless Collective’ highlighting the plight of pavement dwellers. The petition has sought directions to the civic and state authorities to identify homeless persons and ensure adequate night shelters for them.

“Non-compliance of our orders will be considered seriously,” the court said today.

The petitioner maintained that for every one lakh population in a city, there should be one night shelter as per the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM).

ccording to that norm, Mumbai should have 207 shelters. However, only nine night shelters are operating at the moment as opposed to the 25 that were promised in 2012, the PIL said.

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