Berhampur, January 3 (Localwire): With the cold showing no sign of retreat, the homeless in the Silk City have been flocking to the night shelter set up by the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) to survive the biting chill.
BeMC had set up a 50-bedded shelter for the urban homeless near the city bus stand area last year and it is managed by a private agency that charges Rs 30,000 per month for its management.
Of these, half of the beds are reserved for women, sources said.
With winter temperature beginning to dip and hovering between 11-13 degrees during the last one week, more people are seeking shelter at the Ashraya.
According to sources, the number of occupants at the shelter has increased from 17 to 23 and all the occupants are male.
“Most of them are outsiders who work in the city. Previously, only 10 to 15 persons were making use of the shelter home,” sources stated.
According to BeMC commissioner Chakravarti Singh Rathore, a team from the municipal corporation has been visiting all major areas in the city, including the railway station, bus-stand and market areas to identify the needy.
“The team rescues homeless person from the city and advises them to move to the night shelter home,” he said, adding that residents at the shelter are provided all basic facilities like safe drinking water, toilets, and blankets.
The BeMC, however, has tagged the Aahar center for their dinner.
“In cases of emergency and during holidays, the civic body also provides dinner and snacks to the occupants,” Rathore said.
He further informed that before admitting a person at the night shelter, the authorities verify their identity.
“In case someone has no ID proof, the BeMC first registers them for Aadhar. We are not denying anyone from staying in the night-shelter,” the commissioner said.
Similarly, the Gajapati district administration has opened up the night shelter home at Paralakhemundion Sunday last.