Srinagar: The female hostel boarders of Madre Meherban hostel in Miskeen Bagh Khanyar Thursday complained of overcharging by the hostel management.
The boarders said the hostel authorities were forcing them to pay extra electricity charges for winter months to make payment of electricity dues to Power Development Department (PDD).
“The hostel management has received bill worth 1.50 lacs from PDD department and now they are forcing female boarders to pay extra monthly rent to compensate the amount,” a group of hostel boarders said.
Madre Meherban hostel for females has been named in memory of the wife of late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. The hostel is headed by sister of National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah.
According to officials as many as 105 students from different colleges and University put up in the hostel.
Meanwhile, students said earlier they were charged Rs 3300 per month besides extra amount of Rs 50 during winter months as electricity charges.
“But from last year the monthly rent was enhanced to Rs 4000 per student and electricity charges for winter months was enhanced from Rs 50 to 300 per students,” the agitated students said.
The students said most of the students were not in position to afford Rs 300 every month during winters.
“Besides, we don’t have uninterrupted electricity facilities in hostel and the inverter is always down. They have not arranged a generator for students putting up in the hostel till date,” the students said.
The students said they held meeting with hostel management who have agreed to reduce electricity charges from Rs 300 to Rs 200 only which again cannot be paid by every student.
“There are some students who can’t afford even Rs 100 as extra charge for electricity. The hostel management should not count students in one category only,” the students said.
The students also complained that the management was charging late fee of Rs 50 per day if students fail to pay their rent within due date.
“We have been directed to pay rent of hostel by 20th of every month and if any students fails to do so, they are charged Rs 50 everyday day as late fee,” the students said.
The official in hostel management meanwhile admitted that they were charging electricity fee from students saying that management didn’t enhance monthly rental from past two years.
“Rs 200 is nominal charge which every student can afford. The students can check the rates outside and compare it with our hostel. We are not overcharging them,” the official said.
He said the boarders use electric blankets, blowers, electric kettles in their rooms.
“Keeping these things in mind they should cooperate and pay Rs 200 during winter months,” he said