New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Since the lockdown was announced, the Delhi government has set up 111 shelter homes, specifically for the migrant workers across the city, with less than 5,000 migrants staying in the shelters.
According to an official, while these relief camps have a capacity to accommodate 40,000 persons, not even 5,000 people have turned up.
“Since the lockdown was imposed, we were working on increasing the shelter homes so that maximum people can be accommodated. While we have arrangements for 40,000 people, only 4,788 migrants have been housed in these shelter homes,” the official told IANS.
Soon after the lockdown was imposed, the migrant labourers were initially migrating to their home states due to various reasons and have been focused as a target group for which special facilities have been provided.
The labourers were left homeless and jobless since the lockdown was imposed.
To ensure that they do not have to leave the city because of the lack of shelter and food, the Delhi government has started food distribution and made enough arrangements to accommodate these migrants.
While there is enough arrangement to feed more than 10 lakh people, according to the government data, currently, only about seven lakh people are taking food from about 3,000 hunger relief camps across the city.
“We have more arrangements than the people and more people can be easily accommodated in these relief camps and hunger relief centers, if required,” the official said, adding the arrangements are helping a lot in ensuring social distancing.
These 111 shelter homes, the official said, are evenly spread over all the 11 Districts of Delhi under the supervision of respective District Magistrate.
“The boarding and lodging facilities, food and medical facilities are provided by the Delhi government at these shelters.”
These shelters are in addition to 223 permanent shelters managed by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and 10 more such night shelters for the homeless. The night shelters are most helpful for the homeless during the winter season.
“All occupants are provided free food which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. General items for daily use are also provided to the people. Special attention is also given to overall health and sanitation of the migrants,” the official said.
The medical assistance is provided by the doctors assigned to the Centre.
“In case, of symptomatic persons housed in these shelter homes, people are quarantined as per protocol. Only one person has been hospitalised till date since the shelter homes were earmarked.”
The people living in the shelter homes are monitored on a daily basis by the District Authorities.
“Due to the proactive steps taken by Delhi Government no fresh movement of migrant labourers has been reported in Delhi,” the official said.
Thousands of migrants gathered near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in search of inter-state buses, soon after the lockdown was imposed. However, with no buses, while several started walking home, others decided to stay at the shelters provided by the government.