The dearth — and at times the complete absence — of accommodation options in colleges has students running from pillar to post in search of the same in neighbouring residential areas. Concerns about safety make the search more difficult for girls. However, women students of North Campus have an edge over the rest. Residential areas close to colleges here are not short of hostels and PG facilities meant exclusively for girls.
Finding a place you can call home for the next three years is probably the easiest when you are enrolled in a North Campus college. Areas such as Roop Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Vijay Nagar, Hudson Lines, Outram Lines, Kamla Nagar, and Jawahar Nagar offer a variety of accommodation facilities to suit your pocket.
“Women students living around North Campus pay anywhere between Rs1,500 and Rs8,000 as monthly rent for an accommodation space that could be shared by three to four girls,” said Shormishtha Panja, convener of Pehel, Delhi University’s support group for women.
Pehel is involved in collating information about private, off-campus accommodation for girls for over one year.
The expensive and high-end options are mostly found in areas that are closest to the campus. Vijay Nagar and Kamla Nagar are among them. “Living closer to campus obviously has a lot of advantages. Students end up spending less on travel, which is why accommodation in areas flanking the campus are more expensive than ones in say Mukherjee Nagar and Indra Vihar,” said Rajpal Singh, who owns a PG facility for girls called Apurva in Vijay Nagar. The monthly rent for a student living at Apurva is about Rs3,500. The rent covers mess charges.
What’s on offer?
Gone are the days when a student’s monthly rent only covered basic necessities such as meals, water and electricity. Several new PG buildings now offer high-end facilities such as Internet connection, air conditioning and even CCTV surveillance. The rent is predictably more and hovers around Rs7,000-8,000.
Sahni’s on Mall Road (opposite Vishwavidyalaya metro station) is one such place, which seems to be fully equipped with such facilities. This PG for girls has a central cooling system, provides Internet connection and offers plush rooms. Living in a two-to five-room apartment here can cost anything between Rs6,500 and Rs8,500. Sahni’s also offers transportation to all students to their respective colleges.
Unlike hostels, PG facilities are little more flexible with deadlines. The difference, however, is not big. So while Aparna Girls Hostel in Roop Nagar expects students to be back by 7.30 p.m., residents at Sahni’s should return by 8 p.m.
Both hostels and PG accommodation make exceptions for students who study late at coaching classes. “I have tuition classes which hold me back as late as 9 p.m. every day. Exceptions are made in case of deadlines after one brings in a one-time written consent from either local guardian or parent,” said a student living in a hostel in Vijay Nagar.
Dos and don’ts
Panja recommends that women students insist on rent receipt to stay clear of fraud. “We’ve had a case where three girls were tricked into paying the rent in advance and denied accommodation. Such problems can be avoided if one asks for proof at the time of payment. They should also inquire about the reputation of an area before deciding to live there.”
“That apart, women students should remember they have privacy. Their landlord cannot lock them or barge into their room as and when he or she pleases. They are entitled to hygienic food and drinking water,” added Panja.