THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Here is an irony. While the inmates of hostels on the Kariavattom campus of Kerala University are on a stir to get their hostel building which are in a poor state to be renovated, another section of knowledge seekers exist on the campus, who wouldn’t mind if a chunk of ceiling fell over them, provided they get a room, which they are deprived of, despite being legally eligible.
They are the group of research scholars, who had applied for rooms, but were denied the facility citing lack of sufficient vacant rooms. They now live in rented houses near the campus, paying exorbitant rents. They blame the former inmates of the hostel, who have not vacated their rooms, even years after completing their PhD, for all the trouble.
The situation has given rise to several undesirable events, including the hostel being turned into a hub of anti-social activities such as substance abuse and ragging. There are as many as 23 rooms in the Researchers’ Hostel, which are occupied by outsiders. While some among them are former inmates, who have completed their PhD, others are ‘total outsiders’. Of the 23 rooms, 13 are occupied by employees working in various government departments. All these things happen because the offenders have the silent support of the authorities and also the hostel committee, says a research scholar on condition of anonymity.
“I was denied a room despite belonging to the reservation category. Following this, I had to rent a house near the campus, which costs me dear owing to the proximity to Technopark,” he added. However, he did not dare to raise voice against this injustice.
Meanwhile, another research scholar, who is an inmate of the hostel and a witness to the activities there, said that complete anarchy prevails at the hostel.
“These illegal occupants invite their friends to the hostel to organise booze parties. They even threaten new inmates and rag them. Even a police case on ragging that was registered just a week ago had to be withdrawn after the hostel committee stopped providing food to the complainant, who hailed from Tamil Nadu,” he said.
He also said that irregularities exist in the allotment of staff quarters too. Several quarters, that are strictly limited to University employees, are now occupied by employees of other departments.