Getting a good accommodation in paying guest accommodations (PG) and hostels in Delhi University and surrounding areas may burn a hole in the pockets of students.
This year, the owners of PGs and hostels in North and South campuses have hiked room rent and charges for tiffin services.
With the start of the new academic session, students are expecting a hike of Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 in the existing charges, that also include electricity bill.
Due to the paucity of rooms in university and college hostels, areas close to colleges—like Kamla Nagar, Dhaka and Mukherjee Nagar in north campus, and Satya Niketan, Munirka, Jia Sarai and Katwarai Sarai in south campus—are the most sought-after places to stay among the newcomers.
"An accommodation in a good PG or hostel in surrounding areas means winning the rest of the battle. The increasing number of students coming here from other states for higher studies means strong business for owners of these PGs. In fact most of them prefer students over families," said Arpana Srivastava, an IT professional, who stays in Dhaka near North Campus.
Besides demand, other factors that decide the rate of PGs are proximity to the Metro station, markets, hospital and basic facilities.
In Satya Niketan, a PG accommodation, which was available for Rs 5000, may go up to Rs 6,000-Rs 7,000 once the academic season in DU starts this year. In high-end areas like Greater Kailash and Lajpat Nagar, one has to shell anywhere between Rs 7000-Rs 10,000, depending on the room size and other facilities. The condition will be more or less the same for North Campus.
"Finding a good PG accommodation in Kamla Nagar, Mukherjee Nagar, Hudson Line, Kingsway Camp and Outram Line is a Herculean task. The owners will be charging Rs 6,000 from students beginning this year, compared to R5,000 last year. The charges for flat space offering round-the-clock water and electricity means spending more," said Heena, a second-year student of DU, who stays in Kamla Nagar.
So, the aspirants are anticipating an added burden to their current budget.
"Due to high concentration of students and colleges, the cost of living here is high. The owners of my PG have hiked the rates in December and I am expecting another hike of Rs 500-Rs 1,000 with the onset of the academic session," said Manisha, a third-year student, who stays in Mukherjee Nagar.