Pune: Paying guest facilities see a steady return of students
PUNE: Paying guest (PG) facilities, hostels and other student accommodations are filling up slowly but steadily as students return to the city in the hope of classes starting soon.
Vishal Agarwal, who runs a PG set up for boys and girls on BT Kawade Road, said, “I have been getting many enquiries from students and their parents. Business was zero last year but now it has picked up, though not fully. The accommodation for boys is 80% booked, but we have not yet started taking booking for girls as we have to hire staff for their security.”
Mansi Nivedekar, owner of a PG unit for girl students in Bund Garden, said her tenants had returned. “Four students came back to their room from their hometowns. Even though classes are being held online, they are working on projects together,” she said.
Aman Mehra, director of Tribe Student Accommodation, said, “Apart from an increase in enquiries, many of our previous tenants have reached out with their plans of returning to their rooms. About 50% of our total capacity has been booked with new admissions as well as senior students, who have paid the token amount.”
Student accommodations have also ramped up sanitization and safety measures, including temperature checks of staff, regular sanitisation of premises.
Rutuja Kale, second year engineering student, recently returned to the city from her hometown Chiplun. “While college classes are online even now, coaching classes have started. So, I returned. My roommate also returned from her hometown.”
Third year Biotechnology student Shashank Mohite said he chose to return to his PG accommodation in the city after getting fully vaccinated. “I wanted my own space, which is not possible if there are many at home working and studying at the same time.”
College-affiliated hostels, however, have not resumed yet. Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis Society, said, “Only those students, who will come for placements, will stay in hostels with all safety precautions. Thee students from the placement team may be vaccinated and have their RT-CPR report. We hope the government will allow colleges to open for fully-vaccinated students.”