Around 400 resident doctors and research scholars are waiting to get a room in the college hostel at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
There are a total of 1,000 rooms and more than 1,400 junior and senior residents and research scholars. Almost 200 male residents, 80 female residents and several research scholars have been living outside the institute premises for over 16 months now.
“Several female residents have been staying outside the institute premises for more than a year. Thanks to their long working hours, they often become victims of eve teasing and harassment,” complains Dr Kumar Harsh, president, Resident Doctors Association (RDA), AIIMS.
Another senior resident from the Radiation and Oncology department says, “We have to put in over 12 hours of duty everyday. We are expected to come in at 8 am and get to return home not before 10 pm a lot of times. Commuting becomes difficult and more importantly quality of work suffers.”
The resident doctor also said the house rent allowance (HRA), which is less than Rs 6,500, is not sufficient to help them find a decent accommodation close to AIIMS, owing to its posh south Delhi location.
“To suit our budgets, we have to take accommodations far from the institute. Here again, traveling eats up a lot of time and energy.”
“One of the hostels, Dhanwantary, was declared unfit by the engineering department a year ago. The residents were promised new and safe accommodation within three months, but even after a year, nothing has been done,” says Dr Harsh.
The RDA is alleging that the file that had the hostel details is also missing, but the AIIMS officials are refusing to comment on the issue.
According to the RDA, owing to acute shortage of accommodation, the institute approved the proposal for new hostels three years ago. The agenda was discussed in several governing body and institute body meetings but nothing happened.
AIIMS Director Dr TD Dogra acknowledged the existing shortage of accommodation but refused to comment any further.
Hostel superintendent Dr HH Dash, who had just returned from Jaipur, refused to comment without looking at the files.
Medical Superintendent Dr DK Sharma and AIIMS spokesperson Dr YK Gupta also could not be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.