Ghaziabad takes steps to give poor relief from winter chill

Ghaziabad, Dec 8 (IANS) In view of the sudden fall in mercury over the past two days, the Ghaziabad administration has made elaborate arrangements to provide relief to the poor and homeless persons.

“The weather has suddenly turned cold in the last two days, so we had to make the necessary arrangements on a war footing,” Ghaziabad District Magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani told IANS.

Kesarwani said that she has a three-tier plan to help the poor fight the cold weather — to make night shelters fit for human habitation, facilitate bonfires, and to distribute woollen blankets.

“I have asked the Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) to inspect the night shelters and ensure proper comfort for the homeless citizens,” she said.

Although the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation runs the night shelters, Kesarwani said she has been told of their poor upkeep. Besides, at some places, night shelters were not found operational.

The district administration has taken extra care to arrange bonfires at the night shelters and other strategic points, which the night passengers access on their way to and from railway and bus stations.

According to Kesarwani, the administration has also taken steps to procure woollen blankets in adequate numbers for distribution in the jhuggi clusters in and around the city.

Meanwhile, some environmental activists have raised questions over the Ghaziabad administration’s decision to provide bonfires, as the move is sure to further worsen the quality of air.However, they admit the administration does not have many choices.

Environmentalist Vijay Pal Baghel said: “With the growing PM10 crossing the danger mark and PM2.5 much above the danger mark, bonfires may not be a good idea. But the administration also has limited choice.”

–IANS

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