The royal city which is known as the educational hub of the Malwa region, over the years has seen a sharp increase in the trend of paying guest (PG) culture as year after year number of students flocking to the city to get admissions into the institutes has increased manifolds.
In the past decade many educational institutions, coaching centres and ILETS institutes, have come up in city resulting in mushrooming of (PG) culture.
While the city residents are cashing upon the opportunity by providing the students accommodations within their houses, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities have failed to keep any record of number of PG accommodations in their jurisdiction.
As per the sources in civic body, senior officials of district administration have directed the MC to prepare a detail list about number of PG accommodations and their tenants not only to keep a tab on illegal PGs functioning in the city but also to maintain records for security purposes.
Meanwhile, when Patiala mayor Amarinder Bajaj was contacted on the matter, he said, "The MC has no records of the PGs. However, since the PG trend has become a commercial activity, we are carrying out a detailed survey of it."
It is mandatory for the PG owners to get police verification of the tenants done for security reasons. However, PG owners here are busy making money without bothering about the verification.
The business of renting out accommodation has turned into a good source of income for the PG owners as they charge the tenants according to their wishes and whims.
At many places, special constructions and additional floors have been added in order to provide accommodations for paying guests.
Gurmeet Kaur, a PG tenant at Lehal colony said: "I pay `4000 for a single room without any facility of food and electricity. Though my PG owner pays domestic electricity tariff but he charges commercial tariff from the tenants."
The PG trend is catching up most in the peripheral areas of Punjabi University and in the colonies near Leela Bhavan, Charan Bagh, Punjabi Bagh and Lehal colony. Most of the eminent educational institutes, including Thapar university, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) and English teaching institutes and other coaching centers are located near these areas.
One of the major reasons for the increasing PGs is lack of hostel facilities in educational institutes.
Students from various colleges and universities living as tenants complain that the PG owners were making the most of the situation by charging them heftily.
Owing to the lack of hostel facilities in Punjabi University, Government Dental College, M M Modi College, Government College for Girls and other private institutes, students from the farther places have to find the accommodations facilities in various parts of the city.
Female students rued that there were no security or conveyance facility provided to them by their PG owners.