Monday, November 9, 2009

Delhi College Hostels to fulfill the accommodation crisis

Delhi Lt. Governor advises colleges to minimize activity during games

India may house thousands of athletes, officials and tourists participating in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in university hostel rooms normally meant for students because of a desperate accommodation crunch in its capital.

A sports ministry-appointed panel has identified 3,250 “suitable” hostel rooms across Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and the Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology (NSIT) for the accommodation, top government officials told.

The identified hostels and campuses will now be upgraded or renovated to meet accommodation standards that will be available at the official Games Village, the government has decided based on the panel’s report, sources said.

Games organizers are likely to allocate a room to each participant athlete, official or tourist but officials are not ruling out the need to ask some to double up in the rooms.

The Games Village, under construction along the banks of the Yamuna, is expected to have a capacity of 8,500 athletes and officials. But the organizers fear they may need more accommodation.

The tourism ministry has indicated concerns over a potential shortage of rooms for tourists.
“This is a desperate move. But it will help the institutes and the hostels, so it is a win-win situation,” a government official said.

The sports ministry has asked the human resource development ministry to co-ordinate with the institutions which are likely to stall most academic activity during the Games, HRD sources said.

Delhi lieutenant-governor Tejinder Khanna has also asked the HRD ministry to specifically shut down DU during the Games, scheduled between October 3 and October 14 next year, government sources said.

Khanna, in his letter, has, however, sought the closure of DU arguing that it will help reduce traffic on the capital’s roads during the Games.

DU’s grounds are also a venue for the Rugby7s, a seven-a-side avatar of rugby at the Games. Rugby players are likely to be housed in the DU hostels.

Of the 3,250 rooms identified by the panel, around 2,100 are in boys’ hostels — with other facilities such as toilets for men. The remaining rooms are in girls’ hostels, the sources said.
A majority of the rooms selected around 2,000 are in DU while the rest are in Jamia and NSIT, an autonomous institute of the Delhi government.

The sports ministry panel has argued that the government will need Rs. 6.5 crore for the renovation and upgradation of identified rooms, hostels and campuses — at the rate of around Rs 20,000 per room.

Senior DU and Jamia officials said the universities might need to shut down or minimize academic activity during the Games.

“But the hostels and so the university will benefit in the long run because of the upgrading and renovation,” a DU administrator said.