With the number of outstation students increasing rapidly and with limited seats in Delhi University hostels, apartments in the vicinity have emerged as an alternative to hostels and paying guest facilities.
Apartments in places like Gandhi Vihar, Nehru Vihar, Dhaka, Hakikat Nagar and Malka ganj in North Delhi are relatively cheap, with rents ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 7,000 or more compared to other places like Mukherjee Nagar, Indra Vihar, Outram Line, Hudson Lane, Kamla Nagar, Vijay Nagar.
These places in North Delhi are also supposedly safer, with a predominantly student population.
“The rent for my two-room flat is expensive when clubbed together with the electricity and the mess bills. So I share it with two other occupants,” said Dekey Chozem Bhutia from Darjeeling who is pursuing MA in Buddhist studies at DU.
Another student, Nilza Wangmo, who has come from Ladakh to undergo coaching for the UPSC, said, “I have been looking for a flat to stay but it is very difficult. The flats we manage to find are either sub-standard or the rent is too high.”
A flat owner in Mukherjee Nagar, said with every subsequent year and with rising inflation, they have to increase the rents and some flat owners have to look after the maintenance of flats too. “Most outstation students are pretty good natured and pay their rent on time. So we don’t have any problems,” he said.
The most common process of finding a house is employing a broker who charges half the rent. There are also other means where the night watchmen also knows about the availability of houses and charges about Rs1,000 to Rs1,500. The nearby small shops also usually have information if there are any vacant flats for rent in the neighbourhood.