Pay more for cramped PGs and hostels

Accommodation Crisis

Pay more for cramped PGs and hostels

The work for admission process in Delhi University has begun in real ear­n­est. With the first cut-off list being released today, thousands of hopefuls from all over the country are ready to enrol in colleges of their choice.

For them taking admission in their favourite college is not the only target but to get proper accommodation is also a big task. With only a limited number of seats in college hostels, outstation stude­nts hunt for private accommodation each year and this time will be no different.

There is a bunch of private hostels, rooms on rent and paying guest facilities in the vicinity of the campus in col­o­n­ies like Roop Nagar, Hudson Line, Vijay Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar and Kamla Nagar. Since it is the beginning of the academic year, private players have already increased the charge per bed. Surprisingly, the basic facilities remain what they have been for the past several years.

“We have increased the rate per bed by 10 percent,” admits Ashish Sharma, owner of the Sharma PG in Hudson Line. “This year children will have to pay Rs 13, 500 per month for the accommodation which includes three meals a day, AC rooms, 24 hour Wi-Fi and security. Considering the kind of facilities we are providing, pa­r­ents have already booked beds for their kids,” he says.

What he fails to mention are the extremely cramped conditions and tiny room sizes which barely give the resident a 2x2 ft space to move around. That a hefty amount doesn’t promise any lavish arrangement. In a small room, there are two or three mid-sized beds, single door almirahs and a Lilliputian table – which has to be shared by the inmates.

If you are lucky you get a room with a balcony, otherwise make do with zero ventilation. Worse, a single bathroom is shared between 9-10 girls – since each floor has two or three rooms and one bathroom. This is the real scenario in almost all the PGs.

The problem becomes grave for those who cannot shell out more than Rs 10,000 per month. Metrolife visited a PGs in Hudson Line that charges Rs 7,500 per month and found that accommodation was in the basement. Ev­en in the middle of the summ­er, the damp walls stank and there were no windows to take away the stench. So, what can be expected in monsoon and winter when lack of sun coupled with dampness will only make the room more cold?

The low rent also means that there no meals offered. It is then that tiffinwallahs step in for the kill. The going rate for a full tiffin is Rs 2000 per month while a half tiffin costs Rs 1600. Since there are many dabba wallahs, the students have to select their tiffin service as per their choice.

 On the other hand, the hostel facility in Roop Nagar is ju­st a shade better. Shakti Sa­d­an, a private hostel charges Rs 14,500 per month for a bed in a three-seater room equipped with an AC and a refrigerator. Fortunately, these rooms come with attached bathro­o­ms, and the students can choose between two-seater or three seaters. There are no single rooms available. Once more, the space is a constraint but it is clean.

“We are charging this heavy amount because of the incre­ase in electricity charges,” justfies Sanjay Gupta, owner of Shakti Sadan Hostel for Girls. The hostel was started in 2004 and at that time rent was Rs 5,500. “Through all these years the electricity rate has increased so we have also raised the rates accordingly,” says Sanjay. Meanwhile, one has to pay Rs 2500 annually, if one wants to avail the internet facility.

 Since private accommodation has become a flourishing business in the area around DU, it would be best if stude­nts visited several PGs and hostels before zooming in on their final choice.

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