BMC to construct eight new night shelters in Mumbai

City's civic body will construct eight new night shelters here for the homeless and children in distress, a senior Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said on Tuesday.

"These shelters would come up in Worli, Dharavi, Mahalaxmi, Andheri, Malad and at few other places. They are in the last leg of completion," the official said in a release issued by the BMC.

According to the 2011 Census, there are over 57,000 homeless people in Mumbai, while currently there are only eight night shelters at Khetwadi, Kamathipura, Bandra, Andheri, Malad, Borivali and Matunga.

The Bombay High Court, this year in July, had reprimanded the BMC on the poor state of night shelters in the city while a PIL was filed in this connection, to which the civic body had assured the court to take necessary action. "With the provisioning of these eight new night shelters, the civic body would be able to accommodate over 550 homeless children in the night," the statement read.

BMC has often received criticism by human rights activists for not having adequate number of night shelters for homeless people in the city. On the announcement by the BMC, activist Brijesh Ayra, convener of Homeless Selective, said eight new night shelters in a city like Mumbai is "like a drop in the ocean".

"Supreme Court guideline stipulated that there should be one shelter home on every one lakh population. By this criteria, BMC needs 125 shelter homes in the city," he said.

"It is equally sad that the civic body does not have even a single shelter home for adults because apart from children, they are the most vulnerable section of the society," Arya said.

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