96 people died due to cold in two weeks in Delhi, claims NGO

New Delhi: A total of 96 homeless people have died of cold in the past two weeks in the national capital, claimed an NGO named Centre for Holistic Development (CHD). According to them, the maximum deaths occurred in north Delhi.

331 deaths since December

The NGO said that 331 deaths have occurred between December 2018 and January 2019. Of these, 235 people died in December alone, while in January so far 96 homeless people have lost their lives.

The NGO has claimed most of those who died were labourers, and that they have compiled the data from the Home Ministry website. According to the CHD, 23 people died in two weeks in Kotwali Civil Line, and Sarai Rohilla area.

The government is running many rainbaseras (night shelter homes) in the capital. However, still some poor and the homeless are forced to sleep on roads and open areas as the number of such shelter homes is not enough, said the NGO.

Letter to the CM Kejriwal, and LG

The NGO has written a letter to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to take action to prevent these deaths and increase the number of shelter homes. The letter, sent on January 13, mentions that a 45-year-old rickshaw puller died at Daryaganj. It also mentions areas where the number of shelter homes is quite low in proportion to the number of homeless people. Apart from the CM, the letter has also been sent to Delhi LG Anil Baijal.

Sunil Kumar Aaledia, Executive Director, CHD, said, “This exposes the hollowness of the government arrangements. The government must form a policy for the homeless people.”

DUSIB denies reports of deaths due to cold

On the other hand, Bipin Rao, member of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), Government of NCT of Delhi, denied reports of deaths due to cold in Delhi. He said he had no information about the people dying of cold and the police had also not given any such information. He said DUSIB is working round-the-clock to provide better housing and shelter facilities to the people.