7 students challenge Chandigarh administration’s crackdown on PGs in high court
Seven students of Chandigarh colleges have approached the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday demanding the court’s intervention against Chandigarh administration’s crackdown against illegal PG facilities in the city.
The crackdown was launched in the wake of a mishap at a PG accommodation in Sector 32, in which three students lost their lives in a fire last month.
Acting on a plea by Devangani Bhardwaj, a student from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, and six others, the high court bench of justice Rajan Gupta and justice Karamjit Singh has sought the UT’s response.
The students are demanding that UT be directed to frame a comprehensive policy regarding PG facilities after taking into consideration the views of all stake holders including PG facility owners as well as students and to protect rights of those students who face a constant threat of eviction from the facilities. The court was requested to direct the UT administration to not take any coercive steps against them for six months.
It was argued that UT has woken up only after the Sector-32 fire tragedy, even as a policy was in place since 2006. Several students have been evicted due to ongoing raids and are compelled to take shelters in parks and other public spots.
The court was further informed that city institutes do not have adequate hostel facility whereas nearly a lakh students come to the city for higher education and coaching classes. The registration was a tedious process and only 48 PG facilities had opted for registration after the policy was notified by UT administration, the court was told.
It was further argued that students are in a state of torment as their semester exams are about to begin, and the constant threat of being evicted from their PG facilities has only added to their stress.