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Games silver lining: New hostels at DU

After months of paying an exorbitant sum of money for boarding and lodging, a surprise awaits Delhi University (DU) hostellers as they re-occupy hostels this week.

delhi Updated: Oct 21, 2010 00:37 IST

After months of paying an exorbitant sum of money for boarding and lodging, a surprise awaits Delhi University (DU) hostellers as they re-occupy hostels this week.

The DU hostels, which were done up for guests during the Commonwealth Games, sport a much better look as compared to when the students had vacated them.

"The hostel looks like a five star hotel. It's akin to a girl

next door undergoing a makeover and coming out looking like a diva!" said Anjali Agarwal, hostel president, Miranda House.

While most students have not moved in so far, those who have, are gushing about the new facilities.

"We got the rooms yesterday and despite all the controversy around the Games, the rooms are great," said Saurav Maloo, 19, a first year student at Shri Ram College for Commerce (SRCC).

Those who were living in hostels before they were asked to vacate them were also impressed.

"It looks much better than what we had earlier. The biggest improvement is in the washrooms, there are new fittings and other equipment that actually works," said N Badrinarayanan, 19, a second-year student of the same college.

Most colleges are also providing bedding to students. The common rooms and hostel mess have also undergone a make over. In most colleges, LCD televisions, plush couches and comfortable chairs have been ordered.

"New couches, beds and televisions — what more can one ask for? Now, we will actually feel like staying here," said Navin Kumar, 21, a third year student at Kirori Mal College.

Many students had protested against their eviction from the hostels, as they had to find accommodation in nearby areas at a much higher rate.

"Three of us had to rent a flat in Hudson Line for Rs 12,000 per month. Add to that, the cost of travel and food. The last few months have been tough for us," said Shiva Chidambaram, 19, a second year student.

Though most students approved of the new facilities, there are some who feel some quality measures have been overlooked due to the limited time available for handing

over hostels to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

"The hinges of my bed are loosely fixed and the ply underneath doesn't shut properly either," says Archit Kumar, a fresher at SRCC.

For most hostels, maintenance is the biggest challenge.

"We will have to figure out how to maintain the facilities, especially furnishings such as bed sheets and towels," said Pratibha Jolly, principal, Miranda House.