Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia hostels will not host ordinary tourists but personal guests accompanying Commonwealth Games athletes and officials apart from volunteers during the sporting extravaganza, human resource development ministry officials have clarified.
The hostels will not be turned into budget hotels open for general tourists during the Games from October 3-14, top officials have confirmed to Hindustan Times. The clarification comes amid protests from colleges and students.
The approximately 2700 hostel rooms will be used to house about 1100 volunteers trained technically to help organise Games events, and personal guests like wives and girlfriends of athletes and officials.
The University Grants Commission, in a letter dated August 2, asked DU colleges for suggestions on tariff rates to be charged from guests staying at hostels during the Games. The UGC letter triggered concerns among colleges that they would have to operate their hostels as hotels for tourists.
Students across several colleges have also been protesting after they were forced to vacate hostel rooms that are now being renovated for the Games.
"It is a complete misreading of the UGC letter to presume that the hostels will be used as budget hotels to house ordinary tourists. The idea is to provide assured accommodation for volunteers and guests of athletes and officials," a source said.
Government sources said the decision to provide assured accommodation to guests of visiting athletes and officials was "as per international practice."
"At such events across the world, personal guests of athletes and officials are provided assured accommodation," a source said.
The UGC letter, Commission sources said, was aimed at encouraging colleges to earn some revenue from the guests it hosts.
"Technically, since the personal guests of athletes and officials are not a part of the official delegations, they are tourists. While we are extending the courtesy of ensuring accommodation for them, we are not expected to bear their tab for staying in Delhi," a source said.