Paying guests in Chandigarh: Guests of some, a nuisance for most

  • Updated: Aug 05, 2015 16:44 IST

Owners must be wary, ensure occupants are of same age
Youngsters living in PGs tend to consider themselves ‘bosses’ and think they own the place. They park cars haphazardly, create ruckus every now and then and pickup fights with anyone who opposes them. PG owners do not check the activities of the tenants because they are only concerned with money or fear the consequences of an argument with these youngsters, as some even possess weapons. We need to monitor the movement of PG students. PG owners need to make sure that students of the same age are accommodated as sometimes, a senior is a bad influence and ‘spoils’ a group of students, all junior to him.
Amrinder S Brar, Chandigarh

Greed of a few house owners should not make all suffer
Unregulated growth of PGs has led to breeding of crime, besides straining the infrastructure. More than 30 students are made to fit in a 150-square yard house. In addition to the extra burden on resources, late night entries and parties are another nuisance. For the greed of a few house owners, law-abiding residents should not suffer. Chandigarh should follow the Mohali model, wherein one has to take the permission of neighbours before starting a PG. The youngsters are emboldened by the fact that they do not belong to Chandigarh and thus think they can commit petty crimes and make good their escape.
Gaurav Bansal, Chandigarh

Uniqueness of tricity has been ruined
PGs have ruined the uniqueness of the tricity with eateries and landlords busy minting money. Traffic jams have increased and parking has become a big nuisance. Neighbourhood parks have turned into love-making spots and rowdy behaviour of irresponsible youngsters has snatched the peace of mind of residents. Only PGs with adequate parking must be allowed to function and owners must be held equally liable for the guest’s misdeeds.
Sukhdev Singh Minhas, SAS Nagar

Opportunistic residents robbing govt of taxes and city of peace
House owners are compromising ethics and civic goodness for materialistic aspirations. From vehicle parking chaos to late-night hooliganism, such activities have affected the peace and quality of life of residents. Running a PG is a commercial activity, hence should not be allowed in residential areas. Let opportunists not be allowed to rob the government of taxes and the public of peaceful living.
MPS Chadha, SAS Nagar

PGs are a business and must be taxed like one
Our food bill at restaurants is taxed. Are PGs charitable institutions and not making any profit on the food they sell to their ‘guests’ in AC dining rooms? If no, then why are they not liable to tax? Why PGs aren’t expected to buy commercial LPG cylinders when they sell food? Why aren’t PGs charged with commercial electricity rates and water rates like hotels? Are income tax returns of PG owners checked?
Vivek Bansal, Chandigarh

Keep check at deserted spaces that act as havens for drug addicts
The PG culture enables youngsters to stay in contact. However, the real reason for their taking to crime is police inability to check their assembly at deserted, poorly-lit spaces in the tricity and one such space is the almost deserted verandahs of more than 20 booths lying unoccupied for the last 20 years or so in the mini-market of Duplex houses of the Modern Complex, Manimajra. After sunset, this turns into a joint for youngsters. The police do not do anything. The Chandigarh Housing Board, the owner of these houses, continues to provide them a safe haven. The issue needs to be looked into.
SC Luthra, MHC Manimajra

Police, coaching institutes must tie-up, use technology

The problem with PGs is that young impressionable students tend to misuse the anonymity and freedom they usually get for the first time and ‘experiment’ with drugs and crime. Law enforcement authorities need to be smarter and develop a method to track such students’ movements. The police and the coaching centres need to work together to ensure that absences from class are noted. A detailed monitorable algorithm to ensure this is available.
Rajat Garga, via email

Maintaining attendance registers a must
Most PGs run without managers and staff. No verification of the students is done. The administration must make strict rules for owners. Regular checks are needed and owners must be mandated to maintain an attendance register and fix visiting hours. The licence of PG owners should be cancelled, if they indulge in any irregularity. The police should not disturb the life of youngsters without reason and mandate coaching institutes to arrange accommodation.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, SAS Nagar

Tackle problem at political, administrative levels
PGs are a nuisance. The lure of the City Beautiful , its ultra-modern amenities, and a culture of consumerism is proving too much for youngsters to handle. The high cost of living coupled with heightened desire to acquire ultra modern lifestyle and gadgets drives girls and boys to escapism as well as short cuts resulting in crimes. Fines and stringent punishment for unregistered PGs is a must.
Inder Pal Singh Sahni, via email

Make registration compulsory
House owners are minting money by overcrowding their residential quarters and yet are reluctant to register with the authorities. The occupants, mostly students, indulge in anti-social activities. Registration should be made compulsory and noncompliance must be heavily fined or lead to sealing of the premises. The government needs to construct more facilities for students.
Dr Shruti Chawla, Chandigarh

Scared to send my children to college to mingle with PGs
As a tricity resident, I am scared to send my children to colleges or educational institutions where these students enrol themselves. These students, mostly from Punjab, seem to have no sense of responsibility and usually make the headlines for all types of nuisance like drugs, late night parties and violent crimes. A ban on PGs is needed so that residents feel secure in sending children to college.
Aarti Jagga, via email

Absence of parental checks to blame

PGs are a bane as the lack of parental check on youngsters encourages them to experiment and take to crime or drugs under peer pressure. We need stricter laws and better control and interaction of PG owners with parents of such wards.
Varinder Singh, Chandigarh

Seal illegal PGs as these are dens of immoral activities
Most students or those in a new job in the tricity tend to induge in brawls, snatchings and murder to fulfil their daily needs. Even immoral activities are performed at some of these places. The PG culture has indeed shattered the social fabric. These PGs have become the places of immoral activity, instead of providing shelter to the students and others. As far as Chandigarh is concerned, unauthorised and illegal PGs must be sealed.
DP Gautam, via email

Mandatory registration, frequent raids needed
PG owners have reduced these establishments into dens of vices. Stringent norms of registration must be put in place to check the menace. Frequent raids must be conducted to keep the ever-burgeoning crime under check, including gambling, flesh trade, drug-peddling, street brawls and murders.
Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

PG culture unsuitable for kids
PG culture is not suitable for kids. Most students opt for stay in a PG for the independence it provides. Instead of studies, youngsters take to bad habits, which is only possible in a hostel. Educational institutions must have enough hostel capacity so that all students can be accommodated.
Opinder kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Students packed in like cattle, do we need this?
Most PGs are not registered and do not offer proper facilities. Five to six youngsters are made to stay in one room, without sufficient toilet/bath facilities. In order to make a quick buck, some PG owners make five to six students sleep in the kitchen at night. These PGs have no parking facilities and lead to brawls.
Paras R Kalotra, SAS Nagar

Unregistered PGs turn crime hotspot
According to rough estimates, there are 1,000 PG houses and nearly 8,000 paying guests. Of these, only 20 are registered with the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) in spite of the fact there is a standard policy in place for registration.
HS Pasricha, SAS Nagar

Put rules and laws in place and implement these
There is policy in place on PGs and the existing rules are not enforced. Students and even the working youngsters prefer PG accommodation as in the majority of such cases, owners are concerned with money-making only, and hardly impose restrictions and regulations, leading to nuisance. We either need hostels or a set policy.
AK Sharma, Chandigarh.

Even if legalised, who will pay for burden on infrastructure
A 10 marla house is ideal for small family, but it has been noticed that PG owner in 10 marla house existing direct on narrow road, has provided nearly 27 rooms including basement with two bed each and 17 toilets. To meet water requirement, the owner puts electric pump direct on the incoming line, affecting supply to whole locality. The administration is reportedly considering allowing PGs in residential areas by charging nominal fee. Does this mean, authorities can allow commercial activities in residential areas without caring for the environment?
Manjinder Pal Singh, SAS Nagar

Construct more hostels and solve the problem
There is no option to PGs. Most unregistered PGs are fleecing the occupants. Besides, these PGs are a constant nuisance for the neighbours. More hostels are needed.
SK Khosla, Chandigarh.

Make registration mandatory, ensure verification is done
PGs have become hotspots of crime. With no official check on PG owners, no registration and no verification of the occupant is done. Owners are bent upon making money. There are no government hostels for the non-resident students of the tricity. It is only the government which is to be blamed. It should provide hostel accommodation at nominal rents. Verification and registration should be made compulsory.
Suman Kansal, Panchkula

Police, admn must do their job
The PG culture is, no doubt a nuisance, and we have been fighting for this cause for long. First, there were no guidelines and now after much persuasion, even though the GMADA has formulated the guidelines, these are not followed. For residents and especially senior citizens, it is very annoying as even residences which don’t have accommodation for PG are keeping youngsters to earn money, but at cost of peace of those living around. Police presence needs to be beefed up.
PS Virdhi, SAS Nagar

PGs a boon, complaints originate from jealous neighours
PGs are a blessing. Those critical will realise its importance when one of their own wards is in need of accommodation. Most complaints originate from jealous neighbours or the authorities who do not insist on regulating these establishments, even when most students would be OK with proving all documents needed for verification. Authorities are not framing implementable laws and the police do not want any additional responsibility.
Vishal Bhardwaj, Panchkula

Professional colleges must be compulsorily residential
PGs are doing a good service in filling the gap between the demand and supply for accommodation. These are a boon for outstation students and for persons doing a job. However, the IDs of occupants are not recorded or verified. PG owners need to care for the students and ensure discipline without exploitation. Institutes also need to increase hostel capacity with professional institutes mandated to be residential.
DS Banati, SAS Nagar

PGs are a valuable service
PGs offer homely service to the marginalised and poor students from nearby places for higher studies. Rule 144 CPPC of Rent Act provides safe guards and strict surveillance powers to police. If some PG students have been involved in crimes, does it mean that all such students and those who give the accommodation can be tarred with the same brush.
Sham Lal Khera, Chandigarh

PGs can be win-win if certain guidelines are followed
In the tricity, PG accommodation is a genuine need. For house owners, spare space in the house can be used to generate some income without any fear of students refusing to vacate etc. Socially, economically and administratively the arrangement is a win-win. However, minimum norms must be maintained and the police and civil authorities must register all PGs. Just periodic checks by the police would be enough to deter students from taking to crime or drugs. Owners must make efforts to stay connected on the internet. Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (retd), USA

Misuse of houses by owners does not mean PGs can be made to suffer
Misuse of PG houses by owners is the result of administrative failure, for which paying guests cannot be made to suffer. The government should allot land to the private sector for the construction of hostels near educational institutions. Pune has such facilities run by private individuals and organisations. Why this cannot be done in the tricity? Instead of a ban, regulating PG accommodation is far better.
Colonel SK Aggarwal, (retd), Panchkula

Tarring all PGs with the same brush is not done
We cannot generalise that all those living in PG are into crime and drug addiction. Most PGs are responsible and know how to live in a society. PGs might have brought some unrest, but we need to see how those coming to the city for study or work can be accommodated. We can have rules in place and the police in place, but cannot have a blanket ban on PGs
Vishesh Dhamrait, SAS Nagar

UT must set standards to ensure PGs function well, with riders
PG owners compromise with security by not ensuring security checks of their guests and also house more people than what their houses can accommodate. Many house owners fail to inform the police about the nuisance created by some of the PGs. This is with particular reference to some foreign nationals and thus a tacit encouragement to drug abuse and racketeering is given. The UT authorities must certify an accommodation fit before it can be let out to students and ensure implementation of these standards. PG accommodation is a necessity, but let it not become a liability for the administration or the residents.
Colonel R D Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

PGs only option, but need monitoring
To live in the tricity PG accommodation — registered or unregistered — is the only option due to its affordability. To be sustainable, however, these have to regularly checked for violations of any kind by police and other authorities. Parents must ensure that they do monitor the activities of their wards.
Dr Devinder Garg, Chandigarh

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