‘Mission Admission’ may have been successfully completed, but the new inductees into Delhi University from out of town face another hurdle this year: ‘Mission Accommodation’.
The Commonwealth Games are proving to be an expensive affair, not just for the government, but also for out-station students with the leasing out of college hostel rooms. This has led to an increase in the demand for Paying Guest (PG) accommodation this year. Even though such accommodation has been made available, it has been done at unreasonable prices. Given the non-regularised nature of PGs, there has been no check on the exorbitant rents charged by land owners. This lack of monitoring has also resulted in poor quality of accommodation. Students complain about the small size or the rooms in proportion to the rent, and the inadequate facilities.
In the areas around Lady Shri Ram College, the rents stand at an average of Rs 9000 a month, a huge leap from last year’s Rs 6500. These charges do not take into account other costs like electricity, among others. While the PG owners claim that the rise in price is a result of over-all inflation, it may be seen as directly related to the fall in number of available hostel rooms due to the Commonwealth Games.
While there has been an increase in the rates of PG accommodations and in the rents of flats that are often occupied by students in north campus as well, it has not been anything out of the ordinary. Says Aditii Saxena, “My PG has increased it rates by a thousand rupees, but it is justified considering the facilities they provide. They have increased the rates due to the provision of Wi-fi.” This view was shared by a resident of a PG in Civil Lines, “I am now paying a higher rent, but it has nothing to do with the Commonwealth Games.”
Thus, there seems to be a dichotomy between the rates charged and facilities provided by the accommodations provided around North and South Campus colleges.