Bhawans in Chandigarh can double as hostels to house students
With students bearing the brunt of UT estate office’s crackdown on illegal paying guest (PG) facilities, the UT administration has allowed various bhawans in the city to run hostels to accommodate students.
Buildings like Sood Bhawan, Aggarwal Bhawan and Ramgarhia Bhawan, numbered at over 35 in different parts of Chandigarh, were allocated to various communities for gatherings, ceremonies and meetings. These structures also house rooms and halls, offered against a payment.
“Most of the bhawans are underutilised, while there is shortage of hostels for students in the city. Students now have another housing option. Bhawans will also have to adhere to safety and other norms,” said UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida.
“The UT engineering department is also working on constructing hostels at colleges in Sectors 42, 46 and 50 and Punjab Engineering College. These will house at least 6,000 students,” Parida said.
The administration has also directed colleges to temporarily accommodate students evicted from illegal PGs in spaces or dormitories available.
NEW PROVISIONS IN PG POLICY
The administration on Friday finalised revisions in its 2006 PG policy keeping in view the need for students’ lodging in private houses, and their safety and security.
In addition to the existing guidelines, now fire clearance, annual renewal of licence and indemnity certificate from PG owners will also be mandatory.
The administration is also working on introducing a new category of hostels, where house owners can rent out their buildings as hostels after meeting the statutory stipulations.
“The intention is not to close down PGs, but to get them regularised through proper registration,” Parida said.
PG REGISTRATION EXPEDITED
Deputy commissioner (DC) Mandip Singh Brar has directed the estate office in Sector 17 to clear all PG registration applications within two days to avoid inconvenience to house owners.
Special registration counters have been set up at the estate office, which will remain open even on Saturday and Sunday this week. Online applications will be introduced shortly.
Premises that do not have occupation certificate will be allowed provisional registration, subject to the condition that the property owner obtains occupation certificate within three months.
Besides, PGs can operate only on the undertaking that necessary fire clearance will be obtained within one month.
The administration, however, clarified that PGs, housed in less than 7.5 marlas, will continue to be sealed.
On Friday, 12 new PG accommodations were registered, taking the total number of PGs registered in the past three days to 16.
CHB ALSO STARTS DRIVE
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) initiated a drive against illegal PGs functioning out of the board’s houses on Friday. Separate teams of officials conducted an inspection drive in houses at Sectors 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 51 and 63. An inspection report will be submitted to the UT administration to initiate action against the illegal facilities.