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An evaluation of more than 15 shelter homes by the Delhi Police has brought to the fore unpleasant conditions concerning sanitation and hygiene which is the need of the hour during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indian Express reported on the details highlighted during the inspection which stated that fans were not under working conditions, quality of the food served not being up to the mark, dirty toilets with a foul smell, one soap for bathing, no availability of detergent powder for washing clothes and no provision of hand sanitizers.
The report also listed 'rude behaviour of civil defence staff' as one of the key observations.
The observations were made by ten Delhi Police station house officers (SHOs) after the issues were highlighted by personnel from two shelters.
DCP (North) Monika Bhardwaj said that after receiving several reports on the poor conditions of the shelter homes, the SHOs were asked to inspect and submit a report to the jurisdiction.
According to the reports, DCP Bhardwaj compiled the analysis and sent it to Deputy Commissioner (Central) Nidhi Shrivastava for further action.
The Central District administration directed the concerned authorities to take remedial action based on the report within 24 hours.
No proper arrangement for food, drinking water for the inmates, unsatisfactory quality of food being served, social distancing norms being violated with the placement of beds/mattresses and no arrangements for sanitization were some of the issues highlighted in the survey report of three shelter homes by the staff of Lahori Gate Police Station.
It was also revealed during the police survey that many homeless persons have moved out of the shelters after the lockdown was imposed creating chaos in the neighbouring areas.
While several shelter homes under-reported the number of inmates since lockdown, a report from Sadar Bazar Police Station stated that the shelter home at Motia Khan is unable to follow social distancing norms due to overcrowding with 412 seekers.
While three Timarpur shelters lacked basic medical facilities which did not even have water that is fit for consumption. The report suggested that ambulances and PCR vans be stationed outside the facilities.
The publication reported that there are 223 permanent shelter homes for the homeless in Delhi.
In addition to the shelter homes, 111 government facilities which are mostly school buildings have been notified as shelter homes to house migrant workers stuck in the city amid the lockdown.
These additional spaces are housing over 10,000 people, while the daily occupancy of the permanent ones stands at around 7,000.
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