They may be a stone’s throw away from the university departments; they may be in the midst of unmatched greenery, but Bangalore University’s staff quarters do not have many takers. The demand for the university’s 132 quarters has been on a steady decline, so much so that they are being allotted to any employee who wants them. Earlier, a certain number of years of service were required to be allotted a quarters.
Shamala, a resident of the lecturers’ quarters, has been living there with her family for 19 years. In the past five years, her neighbours have moved out fast. This family is also on the verge of leaving by this year-end and move into its own house. “We are paying Rs. 14,000 per month as rent. In Kengeri, there are two bedroom houses for Rs. 5,000. So many people prefer to rent a house elsewhere,” she said.
One of the main reasons for the decline in the demand for the quarters is being attributed to the rent. Employees are charged 10 per cent of their salary as rent. “When the University Grants Commission (UGC) payscales were implemented in 2009, the salaries increased, and simultaneously the rent too. The lack of maintenance is also a reason why the demand has dropped,” said Registrar (Administration) B.C. Mylarappa.
“There was a time when people would become wardens just to get a house allotted. Those days are gone,” he added.
Of the 132 quarters on the Jnana Bharathi campus, 38 are for teaching staff (nine for professors, the rest for readers and lecturers), and the remaining are for the other staff.
Now, the university has started using some of the empty quarters for other purposes. Four buildings have been converted into a day care centre, a primary school, a hostel for paying students and another for non-paying female students.