HYDERABAD: Many students and youth, who moved back to their hometown before the lockdown and have not returned to the city fearing a spike in Covid-19 cases, are now worried as private hostels are asking them to vacate the hostel this month over non-payment of rent.
A large number of young people from other districts live in private hostels in areas like Dilsukh Nagar, Ameerpet and Kukatpally among others. At a time when students, especially those from economically backward classes and marginalised sections of the society, are facing hardships to make ends meet, paying hostel rent in their absence for the lockdown period is an additional burden for many.
Prudhvi Mandarapu, a BTech student, is one among many such people who is facing issues. He had vacated the hostel in March after his college declared holidays due to Covid-19 lockdown. Ever since, he has not returned to the city.
“Although I paid the rent for March-April, I had clearly informed the hostel owner that I want to discontinue the hostel facility beginning May. However, since some of my belongings are still there in the hostel, the owner is asking me to pay rent for May-June,” said Mandarapu.
Many others are making distress calls to the police and state information technology minister K Taraka Rama Rao on social media. “@KTRTRS Sir we are still paying hostel/PG rents in Hyderabad during the Covid-19 crisis despite working from hometown. Can you please look into this issue as we are not able to travel and vacate the hostels in the current scenario and also we never know how long this will last,” tweeted Sai.
Hostel owners said that while they had allowed deferred rent payment for three months following government orders, they have not received arrears from many. “We allowed delayed payment to students from March-May. But many did not make the payment even until June end. I am yet to receive almost Rs 1 lakh from students towards rent. Even if students don’t live here, I have property tax and have other payments to make,” said Venkatesh Marri, manager of a private hostel in Dilsukh Nagar.