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Needed: hostels in south

For outstation students, getting admission into a South Campus college of Delhi University comes with a problem — lack of hostel facilities.

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2007 13:19 IST
Sidhartha Roy

For outstation students, getting admission into a South Campus college of Delhi University comes with a problem — lack of hostel facilities. Unlike North Campus where most colleges have hostels, only two colleges in South Campus have the facility.

Lack of hostels is a major reason why outstation students prefer to get admission in a North Campus college. Those who cannot, have to scout for private accommodation along with the admission process. Not only does the accommodation has to be near the college and pocket-friendly but also has to be safe for girl students.

Till recently only the Lady Shri Ram College in South Campus boasted of a good hostel, which can accommodate 300 students. Sri Venkateswara College recently inaugurated its hostel, construction of which started last year and would be opened for students from October 1.

The hostel will take in 150 students on twin-sharing basis, 75 each for girls and boys. While Venkateswara’s hostel has come up after being in the pipeline for some time, similar projects of other colleges are yet to take off. Principal of a well-known South Campus girl’s college said on condition of anonymity that the projects get delayed because of bureaucratic hurdles.

“Part of the funds are given by the University Grants Commission while the rest has to come from the Delhi Government. While this process takes time, the actual work of getting the building plans approved and other permissions are a huge problem,” she said. Another big problem is the availability of land.

“Most North Campus colleges were allotted land of about 30 acre. In South Campus, the maximum space colleges have is 15 acre and many have less than 10 acre,” said principal of Sri Venkateswara College A.S. Reddy. “South Campus is neglected by the university in terms of facilities like hostels.

This is a big reason why students flock to North Campus despite South Campus having many good colleges,” he said. Maitreyi College for women too is yet to start its hostel despite the project being in the pipeline for years. Minoti Chatterjee, principal of Kamala Nehru College, which is also planning a 120-seat hostel on twin-sharing basis, agrees with Reddy.

“The colleges funded by the Delhi administration in 1960’s were given measured areas and they did not envisage the need for hostels and auditoriums, the biggest problem we face now,” she said. Principal of Gargi College Meera Ramchandran said that the need for a hostel is very much felt but there is space constraint.

“We are planning an auditorium in the space we have but for a hostel, the Delhi government has to relax and increase the floor area ratio (FAR),” she said. KNC has identified a tract of land inside its campus where it plans to build a hostel. The land chosen by the college is between the residential quarters of the college’s teachers and the flats of staff members.

“The hostel would have 20 rooms in the ground floor, as that is the maximum we are allowed,” Chatterjee said. The college plans to later add two more floors making the total number of rooms 60. “We have appointed an architect and if all paperwork is completed in time, construction should start by 2007 end,” she said.

“It is sad that all we can do now is counsel students about choosing the right private accommodation near the college.”