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Unauthorized hostels told to register by month-end

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TRICHY: Unauthroised girls’ hostels in Trichy are facing a race against time to obtain licence as Trichy district administration has asked them to register and apply for licence by August-end.
Many working women and college students depend on hostels for accommodation in several places in the city. However, their quality and safety standards remain a worry for most of them.

With no other options at hand, they suffer in silence, having to make do with substandard facilities. Though complaints were raised against their condition, they all fell on deaf ear, despite the enactment of Tamil Nadu hostels and homes for women and children regulation Act in 2014.

Registration of the hostels under the law will require the hostels to fulfil a list of conditions such as adequate space, kitchen, and toilet, maintenance of registrar, security and surveillance through CCTV cameras.

Dotting most of the Andar Street and neighbouring areas once were residences converted into hostels. Catching the new wave, several homeowners have converted their houses into women’s hostel in Vayaloor road, Thillai Nagar, Ramalinga Nagar.

Social welfare department officials said that around 150 women’s hostels have been functioning without licenses under the new Act enacted after a minor girl was raped in a children home in Pollachi in 2014.

Though the act was enforced four years ago, the hostels continued to bypass either registration or license, for fear that their houses-turned hostels will not meet the standards. Though the district administration had asked them to get register in 2015, it did not get the desired response from them.

“Very few visited the office and enquired about the process. As they found their hostels were not up to standard, they hesitated to move further,” said a senior officer in the department, on condition of anonymity.

“Worse, the district administration have shown leniency to them and failed to take any action,” he said. Opening up to complaints on the poor infrastructure in the hostel, the district social welfare officer has now come up with strong message to register and apply for license before August 31, 2018.

The officials said that they would now view the violation of the Act by the hostel very seriously if they fail to come forward to register themselves and obtain for licences. Going by the Act, the license issuing authority – the district collector has been vested with the powers to order to close the erring hostels.


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