With an allocation of mere `1.37 lakh for the upkeep of hostels out of a total proposed budget of `555 crore for the session 2015-16, Panjab University apparently is not spending much from its pocket on their maintenance.
The budget for the next academic session will be approved in the board of finance meeting scheduled to be held on February 19.
However, `400 the university collects from each student as one-time hostel fund remains with the respective hostel for its maintenance, while `550 monthly room rent collected from every student residing in hostel is deposited in the university account.
A substantial amount of fund for these hostels comes from the rent charged from guest students who pay `2,200 each per month. There are around 30 guest students in each hostel.
At present, there are a total of 18 hostels on the campus, eight for boys and nine for girls, and one working women’s hostel, accommodating more around 7,000 students. There are around 100 departments in the university with the university institute of engineering and technology (UIET), university institute of legal studies (UILS), law department and institute of dental sciences & hospital having the maximum student strength.
For the next academic session, the varsity has proposed funds varying from `6,000 to `12,000 under various heads such as purchase, equipment repair, annual maintenance charges (AMC), fixture and replacement of broken glasses and windowpanes etc for each hostel.
The varsity has earmarked `8,500 each for six hostels, `8,000 each for four hostels, `6,000 each for five hostels and `12,000 each for two hostels.
Dinesh Kumar, warden of boys’ hostel number 7, said an average `5 lakh is spent annually on each hostel for maintenance. The expenditure is met by hostel funds realised from students in the form of fee and fines at the rates prescribed by the university.
“The room rent collected from students is deposited in the university account while other funds raised from students are used for upkeep of hostels,” said Kumar.
The varsity had last year increased the hostel fee by 10% for first-year student on the campus.
Dean students’ welfare (DSW) Navdeep Goyal said the university allocates small amount for maintenance due to financial constraints.
Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) spokesperson Tajinder Singh Dhiman, who resides in boys’ hostel number 1, said being among the top-ranked universities in the country, PU should spend more from its pocket for maintenance of hostels rather than increase hostel charges and putting burden on students.
In the past, hostel residents have raised the issues like ill-maintained buildings, shabby lawns and lack of adequate drinking water on a number of occasions.