Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to ascertain how much space it requires to build night shelters which can be used by homeless people in the city.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and G S Patel asked the civic body to also identify areas in the city where the number of homeless people are more. The corporation will have to inform the court about this next week, after which the state government will be asked to allot land to the corporation.
The High Court was earlier informed that the state government had rejected seven proposals forwarded by the civic body seeking allotment of land. The court was told that the corporation’s proposal was rejected as the land proposed to be allotted was very small in area.
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.
The petitioner said that for every one lakh population in a city, there should be one night shelter, as per the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM). According to that norm, Mumbai should have 207 shelters. However, only nine night shelters are operating at the moment as against the 25 that were promised in 2012, the PIL said.