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Shelter for urban homeless: ‘NGO’s failure’ cause of Goa’s low ranking

NT NETWORK

Panaji

The state of Goa is placed at the 16th spot in the ranking, done by the central government, for the states, on the implementation of shelter scheme for urban homeless, under  Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission.

And, the reason for the low ranking is  the failure on the part of  the NGO Street Providence with whom the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA), the nodal agency for the implementation  the scheme, has signed a MoU to place the 175 identified homeless in their shelter houses.

This was revealed to the GSUDA after the audit team, during the verification of these identified homeless about their living status, found that the NGO never provided shelter to these homeless people and took almost Rs 1 lakh for housing them.

The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) is being implemented by  the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Based on the latest Systematic Progressive Analytical Real Ranking (Spark), the state is ranked after Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram which occupy the 13th, 14th and 15th positions respectively, while Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala occupy top three places the among the 27 states.

The state has scored zero in achieving targets on sanctioned shelters and for also not constituting shelter management committee, which was required to supervise the day-to-day functioning of the shelter homes.

The objective of the Shelter for Urban Homeless (SUH) component of DAY-NULM is to ensure availability and access for the urban homeless population to permanent basic infrastructure facilities like water supply, sanitation, safety and security.

The GSUDA official while giving the reasons for not achieving the given targets on constructing permanent shelter stated that the number of identified homeless population is less and also they are not willing to stay permanently at one place since they are the migrants.

The GSUDA through municipalities had conducted physical survey in 2017 to identify urban homeless as well as their working conditions within their jurisdiction.

They identified 175 homeless, who were tagged and photographed. These homeless include beggars, street children, elderly, destitute women, mentally ill and sick, who cannot make ends meet, and are forced to sleep on the footpaths, near railway station and other public places.

The survey provided the evidence of the need to locate the homeless people in shelter homes to implement the programme and as a result the agency asked the urban local bodies to provide them the shelter in suitable buildings which can be taken on rent as an interim arrangement to these identified homeless but there was no
response.

Following poor response from the urban local bodies, the GSUDA appointed a Saligao-based NGO Street Providence this year to accommodate these 175 identified homeless in their homes and was also paid almost Rs 1 lakh from funds available under the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM).  

However, when the audit team went for the quarterly review of the project, the datasets provided to the NGO did not match the tagged homeless because the NGO never housed the identified homeless people in their shelter homes but it repeatedly claimed that these people housed in their shelter homes are the same, who were identified by the GSUDA.

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