Amid lockdown, PG owners stare at huge losses this year

Pin hopes on July exams when students may come back

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 27

With as many as four private universities in the periphery of Jalandhar and scores of private colleges in the region, the paying guest facility, which had seen a boom in the last few years, is in complete doldrums since the lockdown.

Their only hope remains the realisation of the announcement made by the HRD Ministry regarding holding examinations for the final year batches from July 1, regular classes for previously enrolled students from August and for freshers from September. “We will somehow have to bear partial losses, but if there will be a problem in the commencement of the next session, then we will have to seriously rethink on continuing this business”, most of them have said.

The colleges and universities had got shut down by mid-March and the students had immediately started going back home. Ever since, the PG owners have said that they have been finding it difficult to get rental payments as the students hailed from other states and may not be able to come back home anytime soon.

A PG owner based near DAV University on Pathankot Road here, said, “I had a mix of 20 students and faculty members, all of whom left by March-end. Since there was no work, my Nepali cook too boarded a goods carrier and left for his native place. I called up students for depositing rentals (I have not asked for food charges for these months), but some of them have expressed their helplessness. I cannot of course force them. Now that the university has started calling staff, two faculty members are coming back. So, I told them that they can come, but they need to cook themselves till I arrange a new help.”

Likewise, Gaurav Kumar, a PG owner from Phagwara, said, “My entire PG home is vacant since March. I just hope that the students would again come back to campuses in two-three months. Only then can I hope of sustaining in this business.”

Govinda Verma said, “I have a small set-up of three rooms with double occupancy. Thankfully this year, all my tenants were working women. Two of them are still here as their companies have asked them to work from home. So, I am somehow continuing with my business as of now.”

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