Even as major cities in the region have made registration of paying guest (PG) mandatory, no such rule is followed in Ludhiana. As per the claims of municipal corporation (MC) commissioner Pradeep Agarwal, registration of PG is not compulsory.
Due to highly floating population in the city, providing PG and hostel accommodations has evolved into a big business. Every other house seems to be rented out, fully or partially, in certain pockets of the city.
However, the business is mostly unorganised as very few PGs have registered themselves. Scores of owners in the city have not registered their PGs with any authority as if they will register themselves with the civic body they will have to pay charges at commercial rates.
In the absence of any check against PGs which are being run illegally in the city, most of the house owners charge rent as per their demand.
Most youngsters, who come to the city for work or study, do not face any inconvenience in finding accommodation as property agents are easily available at nearby footsteps. There are specific areas in the city which are mostly occupied with hostels and PGs due to industrial and educational institutes situated in nearby areas.
Navneet Kaur, a theater artist, who is staying at a PG in Maharaj Nagar, said: "I have been staying in PG for the past two years and have seen a tremendous growth in this business. The worst part is that most of the PGs here are not registered and no steps have been taken for the safety of women. PGs should be registered properly and authorities concerned should take step to ensure safety of girls in PGs."
Mohinder Singh, a property agent, said: "The PG business is booming due to the opening of new hospitals and educational institutions in the city. An accommodation with food will cost around Rs 6,500 per person in Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar and Rajguru Nagar."
Harjinder Singh, another property dealer, said house owners in areas, including Lal Bagh, Maharaj Nagar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, have rented out their accommodation for around Rs 4,500. "However, hostels in civil lines have rents around Rs 2,200," he said.
Gurjeet Kaur, a PG owner in BRS Nagar, said: "I am running a girls PG in my house for the past two years. I take monthly rent of Rs 5,000 from each girl and also provide breakfast and dinner to them. I think this is an easy business for women."
The main areas which are known for PGs and hostels in the city are Maharaj Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Barewal Road, Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar and Chandigarh road and among others.