Yet another winter approaches and enough has not been done for protection of many homeless in our towns/cities, the Bench observed.
The Supreme Court has expressed extreme dissatisfaction over non-implementation of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) Scheme meant to provide shelters for urban homeless.
A Bench of CJI TS Thakur, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice L Nageswara Rao made this observation in a writ petition filed in 2003, which had raised the issue of shelter of homeless persons in the urban areas. In 2014, the apex court was informed that the NULM was launched on 24.09.2013, to reduce the poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities through building strong grassroots level institutions for the poor.
Referring to the report, the court observed: “Union of India has been constantly claiming steady progress but the NALSA report suggests to the contrary. The mission of NULM remains a distant dream even after the lapse of a long period.”
The bench further observed: “The Union of India has formulated a Scheme and released huge amounts of money to the State Governments. The State Governments are responsible for the implementation of the Scheme. The reasons for non-utilisation of funds for the welfare scheme are not forthcoming… In spite of the availability of funds and a clear mechanism through which to disburse them, we see an extremely unsatisfactory state of affairs on the ground. This is despite our continuous monitoring of the matter.”
The court has constituted a committee to be headed by Justice Kailash Gambhir, retired Judge, and High Court of Delhi, to inquire into the matter and issue recommendations to the state governments to ensure that at least temporary shelters are provided for the homeless in the urban areas to protect them during the winter season. The writ petitions have been posted after four months.
Read the Judgment here.