Students applying for admission to Delhi University’s undergraduate courses this year will not only have to deal with higher cut-offs but also higher rent. Many private hostels and paying guest accommodations (PGs) in North Campus are set to raise room rents by at least Rs 1,000 per month. As of now, these private lodgings charge between Rs 8,000 and Rs 18,000 per month.
It is routine for landlords to increase rents every year around admission time, but the highest hike is not more than Rs 500. “Every PG or hostel decides its own rate but usually they don’t increase it beyond Rs 500. But this time the case is different,” said Manmeet Kaur, day warden of Mirambika PG for girls.
“We have installed an elevator, so we will be raising the rent by Rs 1,000 per month to recoup the cost. That means our rooms will now cost between Rs 13,000 and Rs 17,000,” said the warden of Nivedita Niwas PG in Jawahar Nagar.
Hemlata, warden of Manik Niwas PG in Jawahar Nagar, has also decided to raise rents.
“We are redecorating the rooms this time so we have to charge more. Earlier, our cheapest room that has six beds but no air-conditioning went for Rs 8,500. It will now cost Rs 9,500. The most expensive room is air-conditioned and has three beds. That will now cost Rs 14,500 per month,” she said.
Students who stay in these hostels say the facilities aren’t as nice in reality. “I pay Rs 12,000 now for a very small room. The bathroom has just enough space for me to stand. Even the WiFi is mostly useless because so many people use it,” said Sonia, resident of a PG in Shakti Nagar.
Due to a hostel crunch — only nine campus colleges have hostel facilities — most students are forced to reside in private hostels and PGs, which offer facilities such as WiFi and laundry services besides CCTV surveillance.
Even those hostels which have not upgraded their living conditions have decided to increase the rent. “We aren’t adding any new facilities but we have raised our prices by Rs 1,000 because many hostels around us are doing so. Our rooms will now cost between Rs 10,500 and Rs 13,000,” said Manmeet Kaur.
Student groups on the campus feel this move is going to hit prospective students hard as many come from outside Delhi and relatively humble backgrounds. “We have been fighting for a standardised rent agreement for the past three years. As of now, there is no fixed slab and owners increase prices as they please. This has to stop,” said Praveen Singh, coordinator of the Right to Accommodation group.