HOMELESS people sleeping rough under the M4 flyover in Heston are being left in 'limbo' by the Indian High Commission, a charity has claimed.
About 30 men, believed to be from India's Punjab region, have been camped out under the motorway in Heston Road for up to a year.
The problem came to a head at Christmas, with Heston Residents Association raising concerns about the men's safety and the piles of rubbish building up at the site.
The bulk of the rubbish has since been cleared by council workers and by convicted offenders completing their community service.
However, the future of the men, most of whom are believed to be illegal immigrants, remains unclear.
Thames Reach, which helps homeless people across the capital, this week told the Chronicle it was working closely with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to tackle the problem.
However, it claims efforts to help the men return home and get their lives 'back on track' are being frustrated by a lack of urgency from the India High Commission.
A spokesman for the charity said the men relied on undeclared work or handouts and more than half had alcohol or drugs problems.
He told the Chronicle they had ended up there for a variety of reasons and many had no paperwork like passports or travel documents.
"Efforts are being made to get emergency travel documents in place. However, the Indian High Commission has been very slow in dealing with these requests," he added.
"One rough sleeper has been waiting over a year. Effectively these men are in a state of limbo, unable to find work legally, unable to use the welfare state which provides UK citizens with a safety net, and yet also unable to return home."
Fari Smith, head of the UKBA's Hounslow and Hillingdon Local Immigration Team, said it was working closely with the council, police and community groups in the area to address the issue and already helped a number of people return home voluntarily.
"However, many of these cases are challenging. Each has to be dealt with individually and some cases can be complex, particularly where an individual has no identity documents. We are working with the Indian High Commission to speed up the time it takes to issue travel documents," she added.