With hostels in Delhi University emptied of their occupants to prepare rooms for the Commonwealth Games,thousands of students are out on the roads scouting for temporary accommodation. But not to miss an opportunity,the real estate owners have jacked up prices of rooms around the campus area.
A tiny servant quarters with attached toilet,but minus the kitchen,costs Rs 10,000 per month on Mall Road,while a three-bed air-conditioned PG accommodation for girls costs around Rs 8,000 in Hudson Lane and Vijay Nagar. The cheapest option appears to be tiny rooms in far-flung Nehru Vihar and Gandhi Vihar which come for around Rs 6,000 and without any sort of ventilation.
Neha Suri,a third-year student of IP College from Uttar Pradesh,has been looking for a room for the last three weeks only to be dumfounded by the rent every time she manages to find one. My parents can afford to pay for the accommodation,but I feel guilty making them spend so much. I have six siblings and four of us are still studying, she says. Those who cannot afford North Campus,are now looking at Timarpur where the rooms are a little cheaper,she adds.
Deepak Kumar from Bihar,a first-year student of History at Hansraj College,says he shares a room with four friends from Hindu College and Kirori Mal College in Nehru Vihar. I have never lived in such conditions before,but I have no other way out. Until the Games are over,I will have to live like this. My room has a tiny ventilator and we pay Rs 6,000 for it excluding the water and power bill.
While the boys can still dream of returning to a cheap hostel room someday,for students of IP College for Women,even that does not hold true. At Rs 95,000 for the 10-month DU session,the new hostel that was built last year is beyond most students who prefer living in PG accommodation. It is the most expensive hostel in North Campus where the average cost is around Rs 30,000 a year.
With property rates reaching a new high,students of North Campus colleges have now joined hands to form a Campaign for Rent Regulation and More Hostels. They have filed a memorandum before Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in which they have urged her to regulate rents on the campus. Already more than a thousand signatures have been taken and demonstrations and social networking campaigns are being planned.
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