CWG leaves Delhi University hostellers stranded

Last Updated 20 July 2010, 12:14 IST

Students of Hindu College, Kirori Mal, Ramjas, Hansraj and Daulat Ram colleges were asked to vacate their hostel rooms as soon as their exams got over in May.
Colleges like Miranda House and St.Stephen's gave their hostels to the Games organising committee later.

Chandrachur Singh, warden of the Hindu College hostel, told IANS that more than 3,000 undergraduate students of Delhi University have lost their hostel rooms due to the Games.

The rooms are being renovated for accommodating athletes during the Oct 3-14 Games.
However, the silver lining to the students' problem is when they get back their rooms, they will be swankier. They may not get their rooms back before Nov 1.
But finding alternative accommodation even for these months is a tough task - the number of rooms available on rent are limited and the costs high.

"I went looking for a room but it was not possible to find one within my budget. In many places I was simply told that no rooms are available," said Prahalad Baruah of Hindu College.

With the new session of the university beginning Wednesday, property dealers and house owners in areas near the university have become greedy, hiking up the rents.
"The rents are higher than ever before... a landlord in Vijaynagar demanded Rs.9,500 for a two-room set which was earlier priced around Rs.6,000," Saurav Gupta, a student of Ramjas College, told IANS.

"This is peak season when students need rooms and most of them are ready to pay whatever we demand. Sometimes it's like an auction - one who can bid higher gets the room. We can't do anything as there is a steep price rise these days," says Paramjeet Singh of Wahe Guru Properties, a property dealer in adjoining Model Town.

Left with little choice, students are compromising on space and comfort to stay in small cramped rooms in groups.

"We are six students living in a two-room accommodation... it is not possible otherwise," said Gaurav Rathi, a student of Hansraj College who hails from Madhya Pradesh.
"Some students have gone to stay with their relatives... but not everyone can do that. We can't go home either, leaving classes for four months," he added.

The hostel authorities of colleges like Hindu and Shri Ram College of Commerce have decided to bear the cost of the lodging of a few students from poor families.

"We have decided to accommodate 15 students somewhere near the college. Students from economically backward families whose income is less than Rs.1 lakh per annum will be considered," said Hindu College hostel warden Chandrachur Singh.

After the renovation, the hostels will have a new look. The toilets and common rooms too will have an air of luxury around them.

"All the upgradation work must be over by the end of August. Air conditioning is being installed in the hostel dining hall which will be developed as a common room area," said Singh.

"The upper storey of the hostel building will have tile flooring. The toilets will have western facilities. All the rooms will have renovated cupboards and new beds," he sais.
The lawns and gardens too will get a beauty touch, and the pavements redone with lighting.

The hostel rooms will provide accommodation to athletes in addition to the Commonwealth Games village, which has the capacity to house over 8,500 athletes and delegates.

(Published 20 July 2010, 12:14 IST)

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