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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Students protest sealing order on guests houses

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, January 05, 2013
First Published: 23:54 IST(5/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:57 IST(5/1/2013)

A day after the district administration directed Huda to seal illegal paying guest (PG) accommodations and guest houses in its sectors, various students and young professionals using the facilities on Saturday protested against the move.

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“Guest houses feel like home...we get home cooked food and it is safer than a rented flat," said Natasha Singh (name changed), a human resources professional.

Singh, hailing from Hisar, has been living in the city for the last five years.

The Haryana government on Friday had framed a policy which deems guest houses constructed on less than 1,000 sq yard of land as “illegal”.

“The PG I live in is about seven-year-old. Why didn't the government impose these regulations when these facilities were sprouting all over the city? The government knew for sure about these facilities,” said Shivani Malhotra (name changed), an IT professional from Lucknow.

In his direction to Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) officials on Friday, deputy commissioner PC Meena ordered all PGs and guest houses falling in Huda sectors to be sealed.

According to Meena, the owners avail facilities such as electricity and drinking water at subsidised rates which are made available by the government only in residential sectors.

Most outstation women working in Gurgaon choose PGs or guest houses to live in as they are affordable and comfortable.

“If I were to rent a flat, I would have to shell out at least Rs. 15, 000 a month. Moreover, there is the security deposit and down payment to be paid. Not many can afford that,” said Anamika Goel, a market researcher living in a PG in one of the Huda sectors.

Meena on Friday had said that “these commercial activities disturb the peaceful ambience in the residential sectors”.

“The government is coming up with all these regulations and policies, but do they have an alternative for us? Our safety is also their responsibility. And do they expect all PGs and guest houses to shift to market areas? How safe is that? None of us want to compromise on living standards. They are just making things more difficult for us,” Goel added.

Meanwhile, a senior Huda official told Hindustan Times that it will serve showcause notice to all such premises from Monday.

“We will serve a 15-day show-cause notice to owners, asking  them why their illegal guest houses or PGs should not be confiscated as they are being operated from plots allotted for residential purposes,” said the Huda official.

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