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Rs 33-cr hostel lying vacant

Stuffy, cramped Safdarjung’s medical students live in ‘rat holes’; swanky new hostel unoccupied for 6 months reports Jaya Shroff Bhalla.

delhi Updated: May 27, 2010 23:42 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Jaya Shroff Bhalla
Hindustan Times

Broken ceilings, damp walls, congested rooms and a smelly dump next door — these are snapshots from the hostel of the prestigious Vardhman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC), the teaching wing of Safdarjung Hospital.

It’s not that there is a shortage of options. A new, well-ventilated four-storey hostel building with 228 beds is ready for the last six months, but no one has moved in because it’s still to get water and electricity connections.

Till it does — people in the know say it could be anywhere between one and six months — more than 300 medical students continue to live in dank, dark rooms.

According to Medical Council of India guidelines, an MBBS student should be allotted a single room. At VMMC hostel, the rules exist only on paper as six students share a room meant for two in the old hostel building.

“Built at a cost of Rs 33 crore, the new hostel is waiting to be occupied. Despite several requests, the college authorities are refusing to give us reasons for the delay,” said an undergraduate student at VMMC, not wishing to be named.

College director Dr Jagdish Prasad refused to comment stating principal Dr V.K. Sharma would know the reasons. The principal passed the buck on to Dr Neeraj Gupta, in-charge of estates, who refused to comment on this.

“The construction agency has not completed its work. Issues of water and electricity are still to be sorted out. The estate department will get possession only after the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) gives a go-ahead,” said a senior official at Safdarjung Hospital, unwilling to be quoted.

“We are aware that students are suffering but simply allotting them rooms is not a solution,” he said.

“According to the original plan of completion, the building should have been occupied by April this year, and one month’s delay is hardly a delay,” said another official.

Can it get worse than this?

There are more than 300 medical students of Safdarjung’s Vardhman Mahavir Medical College who live in damp, dark rooms in the boy’s hostel.
At some places (left picture) tiles of the hostel roof have developed cracks and fallen.

First Published: May 27, 2010 23:39 IST