Expressing shock over setting up of only a meagre number of night shelters for urban homeless persons as against the required number of shelters, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday set a deadline of three months to set up at least 42 night shelters within the limits of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The court also directed the government to set up the remaining 32 night shelters in the BBMP limits within six months while giving three months to set up night shelters in other urban areas of the State as per the requirement. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj ppassed the interim order on a PIL petition filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties-Karnataka.
The Bench, from the statement filed by the State government, noticed that in the government should have set up 166 night shelters across the State at the rate of one night shelter per lakh of population as per the government’s commitment made before the apex court.
However, the data submitted by the government disclosed that only 46 night shelters had been set up across the State so far. As per the data, the government is required to set up 84 night shelters in the limits of BBMP alone but only 10 shelters have been set up in Bengaluru city so far of the 15 approved. While giving three months time to set up at least 42 shelters in BBMP limits within three months the Bench said the remaining shelters will have to be set up in six months.The Bench told the government to set up the required number of night shelters in the remaining 34 cities within three months.
Meanwhile, the Bench directed the officials of the District Legal Services Authorities to conduct surprise visits to verify the conditions of the existing night shelters and the facilities that were required to be provided in the night shelters as per the revised operation guidelines of 2018 framed under the scheme for shelters for urban homeless.