After protests and controversies surrounding the eviction of students from Delhi University hostels that were to house Commonwealth Games visitors, it turned out that these newly-renovated hostels had no takers. There were more than 2,700 rooms that had been kept for foreign delegates, and the rent for each room was Rs.500. Now, the Games are over, and there’s confusion over the allotment of rooms to students.
“What we are aware of, at the moment, is that students who were evicted from the hostels will be given the rooms by either the end of this month or early next month,’’ says Naveen Chander, a PhD student at the Department of Political Science, who was also a member of the campaign, ‘Resist Forced Eviction of Students in the Name of Commonwealth Games’.
“However, some colleges, such as Ramjas, have introduced a policy of allotting rooms on the basis of merit. So, if students do not get a particular percentage of marks, they will be asked to leave the hostel. Some other colleges have planned to increase the fees; they claim that they cannot run such swanky hostels at the present fees,” says Chander.
While in some colleges, the renovation is still incomplete, the ones that have finished their renovation have already started allotting the rooms to students. Many colleges are still undecided about the increase in fees, but colleges such as Daulat Ram in North Campus have mentioned in their prospectus that, if a student uses an air conditioner, an extra amount of Rs.2000 (per month) will be charged.
“Our hostel will reopen by October 18 or 19,” says Arjun Singh, a second year student at Hans Raj College. “This year, they are not increasing the fees, but they plan to do so in the next session. Rooms will be allotted once the college reopens. There is only enough place for 190 students, but around 210 students have been taken in. Now, I don’t know how the authorities will accommodate them,” he adds.
“I have already dished out a lot of money in renting out a place, and I don’t know how will I manage if they increase the hostel fee now. The warden was also saying that these kind of rooms need high maintenance,” says a student of Ramjas College on condition of anonymity.