November 21, 2016
The money allocated by the state government to hostels for Adi Dravidar students is being blatantly misused by the persons running the hostels in Coimbatore, it is learnt.
According to the District Adi Dravidar Welfare Department, as many as 2,263 students are staying in the 38 hostels under the department in Coimbatore. The sanctioned number of inmates in these hostels is 2,502. To serve the students three staff, including a warden, a cook and a domestic help, are employed at each of these hostels. The number of staff members also depended on the number of inmates in the hostel.
The average distribution to each hostel is around 50 students, according to officials, and it may vary depending upon the size of the hostel. However, on investigation it was found that only a few students stayed in these hostels except for the Ambedkar Hostel on Balasundram Road, where more than 500 inmates have been cramped.
The hostel, which has three floors and 44 rooms, was constructed to hold only less than 250 inmates. However, apart from the beneficiaries of the SC/ST scheme outsiders are also reportedly allowed to stay in the hostel on a monthly rent. According to sources inside the hostel, the water bill alone is close to Rs. 9 lakh annually since water is purchased from private parties. The department had sought an inquiry into the condition of the hostel and has also applied for water connection to the hostel to reduce the expense.
The situation in the hostel in Ondipudhur is even worse with the buildings in danger of collapsing. The roof has worn out and the windows of the hostel, where as many as 90 male and female students stay in separate buildings, have neither iron railings nor doors.
While four students are staying at the hostel in Kuruchi, the numbers have risen up to 20 only recently in the hostel at Vellakinaru.
“There were only five students in the hostel. Now students from other nearby hostels have been accommodated here citing lack of maintenance in the other hostels,” said a resident of the area.
According to sources, while a guideline from the district administration clearly states that only those students who reside outside an eight km radius of the hostel should be given admission, students who reside in Samathuvapuram, which is just behind the hostel, were staying in the hostel too.
“This is common as hostels outside the city limit like the ones in Vellanapatty and Vellakinaru only get few visits from officials,” added a source. In addition, none of the hostels has any security, though there should be security men allotted for each hostel.
When approached, V Mohan, District Adi Dravidar Welfare Officer, claimed that regular inspections of all the hostels are being done by the district administration and irregularities would be dealt with.
He added that the other inmates will be relocatedwith the help of the district administration.