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Home away from home?

education Updated: Jul 14, 2009 17:25 IST
Rajat Arora
Rajat Arora
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Paying guest accommodation has filled the demand-supply gap in DU hostels. In certain areas of Delhi, PG digs have become a full-fledged cottage industry.

For students, staying as a PG means both cost-cutting and making friends. But if they are unlucky, they may have more than a few troubles. “Living as a PG is much more economical than renting a flat, but here we have to compromise on our privacy,” says Gagandeep Puri, a BCom (Hons) student at the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce and a PG in Sarojini Nagar.
Gurpreet Chawla, a BCom student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, says, “We pay high rents but the owner and the caretakers have hardly any concern for cleanliness. When many people use a single bathroom, the place becomes filthy unless cleaned regularly.”

For several, the food is also a bitter pill. “We have a tiffin service, but the food tastes the same every day and the quality is also not good,” laments Nimit Grover, a PG in Outram Lines, near Mukherjee Nagar.

Utkarsh Gulati, a student at the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, has not had very good experience with his roomies. “It is complicated for two different persons to stay in a room. At times, your studies are hampered by small disputes or loud music. Select a PG where the others are regular students, not working students.”

PG helpline

Pehel is an unofficial initiative by some DU faculty members to help students find the right PG accomodation and to make them aware of their rights, e.g. they must get a rent receipt, and the landlord must respect their privacy. With feedback from 400 students, Pehel has formed a PG rating system. Students can write to Shormishtha Panja at panjashormishtha@gmail.com and Priyanka at priyanka3101@ gmail.com, or mail to
pehel_delhiuniversity@ yahoogroups.com, or call the helpline at 9999273342.

Your paying guest guide to Delhi

Malviya Nagar
Rent

Single occupancy - Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000; twin sharing - Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,500; multiple sharing - Rs 1,500 to Rs 4,000, depending on the size of the room and the number of people sharing. Rent includes electricity

Food
Tiffin service available. Meals include sabzi/dal with raita and chapatti at Rs 30 per meal. A few PGs have their mess serving a variety of dishes but at higher rates

Amenities
One PG provides wi-fi service at Rs 350 a month. All PGs claim to provide clean drinking water. Fridge and TV in the common room. Laundry costs extra. The area is close to localities considered unsafe. But there’s a local police station in the colony with guards patrolling at night

mukherjee nagar
Rent

Single occupancy - Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000; twin sharing - Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500; multiple sharing - Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000, depending on the size of the room and the number of people sharing. Rent includes electricity, not water

Food
Tiffin service available. Rs 1,500 a month for sabzi/dal with raita and chapatti; Rs 1,800 a month for non-veg food

Amenities
TV and laundry included in the above-mentioned charges. Cooler available at extra charge (Rs 150-200 a month). A guard is on duty 24 hours at the gate of the colony

Vijay Nagar
Rent

Single sharing - Rs 3,500; twin sharing - Rs 2,500; triple sharing - Rs 2,000. Electricity extra. Independent flats, too, are available at Rs 4,500 to Rs 12,500 depending on the number of bedrooms

Food
No food is served. However, there are a number of takeaways in the neighbourhood

Amenities
All rooms have attached bathrooms. TV available. Laundry service for an extra cost (Rs 150 to Rs 200 a month on an average). Guards man the colony gates

Greater Kailash I & II
Rent
Single occupancy - Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,500; twin sharing - Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,500; triple sharing - Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,500

Amenities
Washing machine, dining table, and TV available. These areas being among the poshest in south Delhi, lodgers may ask for and get air-conditioners at extra cost

Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar
Rent
Twin sharing - Rs 3,500 (without food) to Rs 5,500 (Rs 4,000 a month includes tiffin service); triple sharing - Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000; multiple sharing - Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000. The upper price range includes three meals a day and electricity

Food
Meals are basic, the usual dal, chapatti, rice and sabzi. But the promixity of the Lajpat Nagar central market means eating-out options are endless

Amenities
TV available. Laundry service at an extra cost. Most PG landlords provide coolers in each room at no extra cost

Kamla Nagar
Rent

Single occupancy - Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,500; twin sharing - Rs 2,000 to Rs 7,500; multiple sharing - Rs 2,200 to Rs 7,000. Rent includes electricity, water, room cooler in summer and geyser in winter

Food
Tiffin service available. Rs 1,200 for vegetarian meals and Rs 1,500 for non-vegetarian per month. Food in air-conditioned PGs includes north and south Indian, Chinese, Continental cuisines.

Amenities
The TV is usually common. Wi-fi, air-conditioner, common television, power back-up, laundry (Rs 150) etc, also available. The facilities provided are according to the rentals. PG places employ guards

Outram Lines
Rent
Single, double, or triple - Rs 4,800. Rent includes everything. For four women sharing a room, the rent is Rs 4,500, inclusive of everything

Food
Meals include breakfast and evening tea. Plenty of takeaway options available in the nearby areas

Amenities
The amount includes water, electricity and food. Guards on 24-hour duty at the entrance to the colony

Hudson Lane
Rent
Single occupancy - Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000; twin sharing - Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000; multiple sharing - Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,500, depending on the size of the room and the number of people sharing. Rent includes electricity, water, room cooler and geyser

Food
Tiffin service available. Rs 1,200 for veg food; Rs 1,500 for non-veg fare

Amenities
TV and laundry service for Rs 250 to Rs 300 a month. A guard is on duty 24 hours at the building entrance

Indra Vihar
Rent
No conventional PG places here but popular among students. Only flats available here. Flat-owners help you find room-mates. Single occupancy - Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000; twin sharing - Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000. Rent includes electricity and water supply

Food
Tiffin service available. Rs 1,000 a month for vegetarian food and Rs 1,200 for non-veg

Amenities
You may instal facilities within the flat as per your requirements. Being a residential area, it is considered secure. Dedicated Internet room with wi-fi in some of the PGs, at a nominal monthly rate. Dedicated bike parking space for residents

Siri fort road (opp. gargi college)

Rent
Twin sharing - Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000; triple sharing - Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,500. Rent includes electricity. Some provide geysers at no extra cost

Food
The higher prices include breakfast and dinner for veg food. Non-veg costs Rs 600 to 800 extra per month

Amenities
TV, fridge available. Inverter at Rs 500 per month

Compiled by: Ankita Saha, Bhavya Nayna Channan, Pushkin Varma and Shubhodeep Chakravarty

First-person accounts

‘Our PG life was a lively one’

Iqbal Singh Grover

PG digs are quite different from college hostels. Each has its own advantage. I moved into a PG from the hostel and stayed there for a year-and-a-half. It was close to my college, SRCC, and had people from other colleges as well, which helped expand my social circle. We were always attuned to the campus buzz.

I shared a room with a friend who had recommended the place. So, I never had to get into the hassle of agents and property dealers. The rooms were much bigger than the hostel rooms and the food was good, too.

And for all this, I was charged Rs 4,500 a month, which was reasonable, though electricity charges were extra.

The PG experience livened up my daily life because, contrary to popular perception, the caretaker maintained the rooms and bathrooms well. There was a moderate level of strictness, but then we never had to worry about the security. I and my roommate had a key each to our room and the main gate had an intercom connected to the caretaker’s room. It was all very orderly.

I fondly remember my PG accommodation as a place where I made friends with people from not just my college, and where I got ample space and time to pursue my interests.

‘Being a pg is the best lesson in adjusting to life’

Bhavya Nayna Channan

Staying as a paying guest taught me how to deal with the real world. When I joined college in Delhi University, I had to stay as a paying guest since my home was in Gurgaon. I found a place in Outram Lines, which was quite close to our college, Miranda House.

I got to know about this place through a pamphlet which gave all the information. A four-seater room was allotted to me, and since all of us were in the first year, we got along well. Initially, the senior PGs bullied us, but later they became our close friends.

The food served was very basic. Any food we got from home was shared by all, which encouraged friendship and told us a little about each other’s culture, too. Occasionally, we ordered takeaways and had small parties.

We had a secure environment. The PG curfew time was 8 pm and no men were allowed into the premises. The only thing that bugged me was that some girls staying as paying guests had not even the basic manners when using a common washroom. Even the landlord was not particular about this.

I can now say that if parents want their kids to learn to adjust, there is no better lesson than living as a paying guest.

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