Illegal PGs mushrooming in Patiala
Patiala MC does not have any record of house owners running PGs nor any mechanism to have check on their spreadpunjab Updated: Jun 19, 2017 15:04 IST
As students from all over Punjab come to the royal city for education, illegal paying guest (PG) accommodations are mushrooming in the city without any check.
The city has educational institutions such as Punjabi University, Thapar University and numerous other colleges. At the same time, the number of international English language testing system (IELTS) coaching institutes in the city has risen considerably. The students, who come to study here, are welcomed by house owners running illegal PGs in their houses. These PG owners do not inform the municipal corporation about the commercial activity in the houses. However, the MC also lacks interest in the matter.
Hence, illegal PGs are mushrooming in the areas adjacent to educational institutes, including Punjabi University, Thapar University, Khalsa College, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law and Leela Bhawan where a majority of IELTS coaching institutes are based.
The students, who come for IELTS coaching, said owners of the coaching institutes help them rent PGs near the institutes.
Karam, who comes to the city from Rajpura everyday, said, “My IELTS coaching institute asked me to take accommodation in a PG here. It would cost Rs 4,000, excluding electricity charges. Also, they were charging commercial electricity rates while they were not registered. But, I could not afford it.”
Another city resident, who works in a private company, said, “Two years ago, only two houses in our locality were running PGs, but today every other house has opened a PG to earn extra money.”
Some people have even constructed extra rooms to use them as PG accommodation.
Advertisement stickers of PGs offering furnished and semi-furnished accommodations are pasted on electricity poles near institutes. Also, local dhaba-walas guide students to stay in particular PGs, all of which are running illegally.
Mayor Amrinder Singh Bajaj said that the municipal corporation does not have any record of PGs. “We do not have any record of the people, who are running PGs in their houses. We would keep a check, but we do not have any orders in this regard.” He said there is no mechanism with the municipal corporation to issue certificates. “It is solely based on self-confession of the people. The people, who voluntarily inform us about running PGs in their houses, are charged commercial property tax.”
Senior superintendent of police S Boopathi said that the police are keeping a tab on the people, who stay in PGs. He said that the police are concerned about the people, who rent PGs but did not elaborate on the mechanism used.