Students won't pay room rent unless given receipts

To demand rationalisation of rent, the student community in the North Delhi’s Christian Colony on Friday decided not to pay their rent till landlords start giving them receipts. 

Convener of the local group ‘Student for Right to Accommodation’, Praveen Kumar Singh said their decision comes after the police denied giving them permission to hold an indefinite hunger strike against soaring rents at guest homes in the locality. 

“If the landlords do not start giving receipts of rent charged, students residing at Christian Colony will stop paying rent from November,” Praveen said.The group says that most of the students living in this locality near Delhi University’s North Campus are either college students or civil service aspirants.

According to an estimate, over 3,000 students stay in rented accommodation at Christian Colony and hundreds of them agreed to join the protest. 

Last year, the same group, demanding more hostels and implantation of the Delhi Rent Control Act, had staged hunger strikes in January and September. 

“Many students are coming forward to join our civil disobedience movement of not paying rent,” Praveen said, while adding that his group has also asked students of neighbouring locality to join the protest. 

Brijesh Singh, a student of DU’s Law Faculty and member of the student group, said due to the limited seats in university hostels, most of the students in the neighboured are forced to go for alternative arrangements, which mean shelling out more money. 

“For the windowless rooms in this slum like locality, students sometimes end up paying Rs 3,000 for double occupancy rooms and shared toilets. In neighbouring localities, the rents are even higher because of better living condition,” he said. 

The group said that it had written to the city Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung urging him to ensure implementation of the Delhi Rent Control Act and affordable accommodation to the outstation students. 

“The city administration should either implement the Delhi Rent Control Act or form a regulatory authority to fix rent consulting all the stakeholders, students and landlord, to protect everyone’s interest,” said Praveen.

Police on Tuesday had denied giving permission to stage an indefinite hunger strike. 

“The permission for holding indefinite hunger strike in connection with demands of Right to Accommodation and Delhi Rent Control Act,1995, at Christian Colony and Patel Chest on October 31 in Maurice Nagar police station area has been considered in this office, but could not be granted due to law and order and traffic problem,” the Delhi police in their letter had said.

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