A representative of an NGO that maintains a night shelter on behalf of the Greater Chennai Corporation said the Centre would sanction funds for operation and maintenance of night shelters only for five years. “After that, the civic body should spend from its coffers or collect CSR funds,” he said.
There are 55 night shelters in the city, of which 18 are more than five years old. “Funds to those shelters had stopped. The civic body has to spend more than Rs 10 lakh per year to run the shelters,” said a Corporation official.
Venessa Peter of the Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC) opined that the State government should take over night shelters so that they would not struggle for funds for operation and maintenance.
“The government should also frame policy to address the issues of homeless persons across the State,” she added.
According to a Supreme Court order, every urban local body in the country should create one night shelter for one lakh population. As per this calculation, the Corporation should create 84 night shelters but there are only 55 shelters functioning in the city.