In a significant effort to prevent homeless people from sleeping on roadsides, platforms and beneath bridges, the Tiruchi City Corporation has constructed three night shelters.
They have been constructed at a cost Rs. 2.55 crore with the financial assistance given by the National Urban Livelihood Mission.
A sum of Rs. 40 lakh has been spent for the night shelter near the Railway Junction. The night shelters at Chathiram on Madurai Road and East Boulevard Road have been constructed at an estimate of Rs. 85 lakh each. A sum of Rs. 15 lakh will be spent on providing furniture and electronic gadgets.
The night shelter near the Railway Junction can accommodate 50 persons. The other shelters have been designed to accommodate 100 persons each.
Minister for Tourism Vellamandi N. Natarajan inaugurated the night shelter near the Railway Junction in the presence of Minister for Backward Classes and Minority Welfare S. Valarmathi, Tiruchi Member of Parliament P. Kumar and others.
Corporation Commissioner N. Ravichandran, told The Hindu that the night shelters would be of great help to prevent the homeless people from sleeping on streets. The night shelter at Railway Junction has two floors, while the ground floor would be used to accommodate males, the first floor would be used for females. Besides dining hall and kitchen, ten toilets and four bathrooms have also been constructed.
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has been identified for maintenance of the night shelter. Cots with beds have been arranged on dormitory basis. A caretaker and security guards have also been posted. A sum of Rs. 6 lakh has been earmarked for operation and maintenance of the night shelter for a year.
Mr. Ravichandran said that the homeless people could also use the shelter for cooking as well. If needed, they could use the shelter for staying during the day also.
“A survey reveals that about 40 persons, including a few women, spend the night on platforms and roadsides near the Railway Junction and Central Bus Stand. They have been asked to use the night shelter,” Mr. Ravichandran said.
A Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) has also been set up at the night shelter to monitor those visiting the premises and it was basically to prevent misuse of the shelter.
According to a survey, S. Nagesh, City Engineer, said that there were 468 homeless persons in Tiruchi city. A total of 250 persons could be accommodated in the three night shelters.
Source – The Hindu