Working out a solution
Now that the educational activity has started once again students hailing from various districts have once again started to come over to Srinagar for coaching and tuitions. The swell in the number of students seeking private accommodation has increased over the past few months now and most of the places that offer rooms for students stay are full.
However, one issue which has been affecting the student’s community is the fluctuating rent rates at various locations. Though the student’s community has been demanding and calling for a standard rent fixation by hostels and private accommodation holders but their demand has not been taken seriously.
Interestingly, the administration in Srinagar had ordered formation of a rent fixation committee for rooms and places of residence hired by students in Srinagar city last year the move also did not bring some relief for the students.
The District Magistrate, Srinagar has constituted a committee for fixation of rent of rooms hired by students in city. The inter-departmental committee had been entrusted to finish the task within a period of 15 days.
The committee constituted with Assistant Commissioner Revenue as convener comprised of Superintending Engineer PWD, Superintending Engineer Hydraulic , Superintending Engineer Power, Chief Education Officer and Deputy Controller Legal Metrology. Deputy Commissioner as chairman of District Rent Assessment Committee had tasked the team to arrive at a uniform rate to be fixed based on different types of accommodations offered to students in Srinagar city.
The committee was tasked to workout per square feet rent in different locations and also take into account the standard expenses involved viz a viz power and water supply, or any other recurring tariff. Department of Legal Metrology had also been asked to receive the complaints in case of violation and initiate action wherever instances of overcharging are detected.
Pertinently, a large number of students in various areas of city complained about overcharging of room rent and related issues. The district administration had accordingly initiated the process for a fair and transparent process to ensure standardisation of rent to be paid for hired properties.
Rent fixation has always been an issue in a place like Srinagar. The various residential areas that fall under different ranges and zones have different rates that are charged from tenants. Not only the students but working professionals and those who outsiders who work in Srinagar also face the issue of rent fixation as they too complain of uneven rates and facilities.
Since renting of properties for residential purposes has off late turned out to be a good earning option, so most of the residential areas are putting up a room or two for rent or even dedicate one or two bedroom sets for rentals in their homes. This has meant earning some extra bucks for various families especially those who have no male member to look after the requirements of the family.
Renting rooms in residential houses has also proven beneficial for the unemployed people who use their fixed assets to tide over their financial crisis and earn a livelihood. Since most of the people in Srinagar and even elsewhere have their owned residential properties the option to earn from these assets has worked well.
However, some cases of exploitation have come to the fore but the option to capitalize on the fixed assets has positive bearings too that cannot be ignored. The admin should genuinely ensure that a workable mechanism is put in place so that the entire process of renting out rooms to students is turned into an organized affair. Where the property holders as well as the students do not have to suffer.