For the thirty odd attendants of patients at the Government Maternity Hospital in Koti, Hyderabad, a tree and hospital corridor have become the place for sleeping despite the presence of a fully constructed GHMC shelter home.

Locals and officials say the facility is not yet functional as they are waiting for a senior minister in the State Cabinet to inaugurate it. Constructed exclusively to house attendants of patients, the three-floor building has only minor works pending, like power and water connections.

Thirteen-year-old Yadagiri was forced to sleep in the open corridor, at freezing 3 am in the night, after his pregnant sister was admitted. Yadagiri had to sleep there only a single night, but his brother-in-law and father to be wasn’t that lucky. He ended up spending three nights under a tree in the hospital premises. “We can access the patients’ wards only to give food.

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They shelter home, despite beds being placed, are shut. Officials say they are waiting for a minister to come and open it,” says V Ashok, care taker of Shantha Vasantha Trust. When contacted, V Bhaskarachary, Additional Commissioner of UCD, GHMC said that: “We were waiting for the minister to inaugurate it, but as he is busy, we have given a go-ahead to the commissioner to make them operational.”

The bone-biting winter has made many homeless people move to the GHMC-run shelter homes. With almost all shelter homes housing double its capacity, they are short of basic facilities like blankets.

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Yousufguda shelter home, which has a capacity of 12 beds, houses about 30 people in the night. The open terrace beside the single-room, where about fifteen people sleep, is the shelter place for those who come late in the night. “We have limited beds and blankets.

All of them are shared and there are always few who are left with nothing to keep themselves warm,” said Mahendra Raja, a choreographer from Rajamundry. At Begumpet, where two shelter homes are located, a total bed capacity of about 70 is commissioned but, at present, close to 120 people are staying there. “If we get a report, we will look into it. There is no way we can overlook such needs,” said V Bhaskar achar. #KhabarLive

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