Following Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s directives to ensure that no one sleeps in the open during cold nights in the State, the Local Government Directorate has finalised its preparations within the urban bodies.
Considering the cold weather and the possibility of cold waves, the Directorate has issued comprehensive instructions to all Municipal Commissioners and Executive Officers. These guidelines focus on ensuring safe accommodations and the operation of night shelters and shelter homes for destitute and vulnerable individuals within local bodies.
Director Dr Nitin Bansal has sent a letter, emphasising the need for activating night shelters and shelter homes in a mission mode across all urban areas.
Instructions have been issued to ensure action regarding the operation of night shelters/shelter homes. According to this, night shelters/shelter homes should be mandatorily operated in all hospitals, medical colleges, bus stations, railway stations, workers’ workplaces, and markets.
New temporary night shelters can also be constructed as per requirement. The Revenue Department, the Health Department, and the Development Authority, among others, should provide the necessary assistance.
These night shelters and shelter homes aim to provide accommodation for individuals in need, particularly those lacking housing facilities and those who have travelled from outside for medical treatment or employment. This measure aims to ensure that such individuals are not compelled to sleep in the open, on roads, or on tracks.
The guidelines specify that comprehensive measures, including cleanliness, provision of clean bed sheets and blankets, access to hot water, toilet facilities, and first aid arrangements, should be implemented to safeguard individuals staying in night shelters and shelter homes from the cold and provide essential basic amenities.
Adequate provisions for lighting and CCTV systems are also to be arranged. Regular cleaning and washing of bed sheets and blankets are essential. Separate arrangements for sleeping and toilet facilities should be made for women and men in night shelters and shelter homes.
With the help of the district administration, efforts should be made to provide blankets and other essentials to every economically disadvantaged individual. Caretakers should be appointed at all night shelters, and their details–such as name, designation, and mobile number–must be prominently displayed at the entrance of the night shelters.
Additionally, a nodal officer of suitable seniority should be designated for each night shelter, assuming responsibility for the efficient operation of the facility.
Surprise inspections of night shelters should be conducted by senior officials of the district and municipal bodies at night. A detailed inspection register should be maintained by the caretakers of the night shelters, wherein the inspection officer records their comments.
Cold wave and cold prevention programs should also be widely publicised and information related to them should be disseminated through local newspapers, electronic media, social media, etc., so that the general public can be informed about the comprehensive measures being taken by the Government to protect themselves from cold.
Collaboration and support should be sought from civil service organisations, civil defence, schools, trade organisations, industrial associations, and the Red Cross Society for the effective operation of night shelters.
Additionally, in consideration of the winter season, bonfires should be arranged by regulations at key intersections in main markets, hospitals, bus stations, railway stations, and other relevant locations.
(with inputs from ANI)