No CWG tourists so far in renovated DU hostels

However, with the Oct 3-14 event just eight days away, the hostels are still awaiting their first guests.Around 100,000 foreign and domestic visitors were expected to be in the Indian capital during the Games.

To partly meet the demand, around 2,700 hostel rooms across DU were renovated to house the Games' guests from the overseas and across the country. The custodians of the college hostels in North Campus, home to top colleges like the St. Stepehn's, Hindu, Ramjas and Kirori Mal, say the refurbished rooms will benefit the students in the long run but are not in demand for the Games.

The University Grants Commission (UGC), which is funding the project under the aegies of the human resource development ministry, told the hostel authorites to start expecting guests by Sep 15.

"The idea of the organisers to renovate DU hostels and leave a Games' legacy for the college was right. But I think the organisers expected too much out of the international community. We have not received a single guest so far and amid all the negative publicity of the Games, there is little chance of room demand picking up," Chandrachur Singh, professor and warden of Hindu College, told IANS.

"It is fair to say that the decision to house the guests in DU has backfired. There are few visitors coming and they have other options too."

In fact, the students were told to vacate the hostels to accomodate the tourists until the Games are over, sparking a joint protest from the students and teachers of the university.

The Hindu College were given Rs.10.8 million ($240,000) crores by the UGC for upgradating its 120 hostel rooms. In Ramjas College, the renovation of 60 hostel rooms cost Rs.17.1 million because these required more work.

Ramjas College warden Tanvir Aeijaz said he has got no response from the Games organisers on when the guests are expected.

"I had to arrange for the catering inside the hostel but apparently there are no takers for the facility. It does not bother me much as the hostel is now in a much better shape. The students have suffered a lot staying on their own for the last three months. But I am happy they will get a good accomodation after the Games," Aeijaz added.
The single rooms are priced at Rs.500.

Some 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories are expected to attend the Commonwealth Games.

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