Hostellers facing a space crunch at AIIMS
It was not long ago that a portion of the ceiling of the boys' hostel at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had collapsed. But the administration hasn't learnt its lesson yet.delhi Updated: Aug 06, 2010 00:43 IST
It was not long ago that a portion of the ceiling of the boys' hostel at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had collapsed. But the administration hasn't learnt its lesson yet.
Even six months after the incident, the students continue to live in the hostel building which was declared unsafe two years ago.
The students don’t really have a choice. There are more than 2,000 students, including nearly 1,200 resident doctors, in the waiting list for the hostel.
The students are beginning to lose patience because a land behind AIIMS at Masjid Moth was allocated for a 1,700-bed hostel five years ago. Despite receiving all the necessary clearances last December, work is yet to begin.
“The reality is that we have such odd working hours that we need to rent places close to the institute. Our house rent allowance remains as low as Rs 8,900, whereas the rent for one-room accommodation in areas such as Gautam Nagar, Kidwai Nagar, Arjun Nagar is over R 12,000,” said Dr Debjyoti Karmakar, president, resident doctors association (RDA).
“The rule book says that all undergraduate students need to be accommodated and with the OBC quota, the medical seats have expanded by 9 per cent but the hostel capacity remains the same,” he said, adding, “When there is space specifically allotted for the hostel then why not build it ?”
"We have lodged several formal complaints with not just the institute Director Dr R.C. Deka but also the Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
But nothing seems to have been done,” said Dr Shamim Ahmed, general secretary of the association.
This shortage of hostel is also leading to another unethical practice of junior staff subleasing their premises to students and themselves living in far-flung areas where rents are low.
The official spokesperson of AIIMS Dr Y.K. Gupta, medical superintendent Dr D.K. Sharma and several other senior officials refused to comment.
The students are now planning to take up the issue with the administration at the general body meeting on Saturday.
“The wait for hostel has been really long. If the administration still does not address our problems, we might have to resort to a more serious protest,” said a student, requesting anonymity.