Officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), Collectorate, and Social Welfare Department will start identifying illegal women’s hostels and file cases against their owners to curtail their operation.
According to estimates, more than 1,000 hostels have applied for registration with the district administration. Following a meeting of officials from the Collectorate, GCC, and Social Welfare Department on Friday, the crackdown against the illegal hostels is expected to begin to improve the safety of women.
“The hostels have been asked to furnish details and register. The deadline ended on September 30. Sanitation inspectors of the GCC will get more powers in regulating hostels. Certain rules have to be amended for better regulation,” an official said.
The civic body has started demanding stability, sanitation, and fire safety certificates for the hostels. “Teams constituted by the Chennai Collector will inspect the hostels,” an official said.
The largest number of hostels are located in areas such as Sholinganallur, Velachery, and Anna Nagar, said officials from the Collectorate. According to estimates from the representatives of hostels, more than 5 lakh women, including employees and students, require accommodation in Chennai.
More than 50,000 students depend on hostels in Anna Nagar alone as part of preparation for competitive examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. As a result, a large number of houseowners have started their own hostels in the area, a hostel owner said.
“The fees collected by the hostels will not be affordable for poor students once the regulation comes in. The officials want to restrict the number of persons in a hostel, providing 100 sq.ft for each person. Now, we are collecting ₹8,000 per month. The fees will increase,” another hostel owner said.