Much to the ire of the UT social welfare department, the education department has not only bent all the rules pertaining to allotment of accommodation at the working women's hostel but has also not paid rent for the amounting to Rs 2 crore for the past five years.
The Phase II building of the hostel, which can house 132 residents and is with the higher education office, was constructed in 2009 with funding from the HRD ministry, while there are 72 rooms in the phase I wing, which is with the social welfare department.
According to central government regulations, only 30% of the total accommodation in the hostel can be allotted to students enrolled in professional courses. However, in clear breach of these norms, all rooms have been given to students pursuing graduate and postgraduate courses in city colleges.
Citing shortage of accommodation for working women in the hostel, the social welfare department has asked the education department to hand over the possession the phase II building.
When contacted, social welfare department director Rajesh Jogpal confirmed his office had raised an objection regarding possession of the hostel's phase II building with the education department.
"We've requested the education department to clear the outstanding rent and hand over the possession of the building after the current academic session ends," he added.
Meanwhile, higher education office director Sandeep Hans said he had asked principals of colleges in the city to submit reports on the rent arrears. He added the decision to allot rooms to college students was taken in the past by a committee. "We'll reexamine the move and will ensure no rules are violated," he stated.
The UT administration had recently hiked the monthly rent for a single-occupancy room at the hostel from Rs 9,000 to Rs 4,500, while that for a room on sharing basis was raised from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500. Rent for working women has been increased from Rs 1,780 to Rs 3,500 per month.