Women face difficulties as govt increases hostel rent


ISLAMABAD: Increase in women hostel rent running under the administration of the Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) created severe difficulty for women who are already fed up with the lack of the basic facilities.

The ministry which supposed to protect fundamental rights of the citizens, had raised the rent three times i.e from Rs 2300 per hostel seat to Rs 9,000 besides mess and utility bills put an extra burden on the pocket of the poor residents.

On their complaint, former minister Karman Michael resolved the issue and ordered to adjust the rent, but after his replacement, the hostel administration violated the agreement and again pressuring hostel girls to pay new rent, sources said.

Leaving no other option, they approached the court and get stay till the implementation of the agreement, but the hostel administration last week again forcefully started vacating the rooms. The girls requested the new government to look into the matter and find out a possible solution as their issue is already in the court as the new rent was not affordable for them so their genuine demand should be considered on priority.

It is pertinent to mention here that women are already facing severe accommodation problems due to lack of the government-run hostels and high rates of the private accommodation which is sub-standard despite lacking basic facilities. The ministry also lapsed 40% funds reserved for the construction of the two working women hostels in G-6/2 and G-7/3 in the new fiscal year 2018-19.

Only Rs 60 million is being earmarked as compared to Rs 100 million in the current fiscal year 2017-18 due to non-utilization. The land for hostels was allocated some 12 years ago and an amount of Rs10 million had been reserved for the construction of the building in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2014-15, but the ministry surrendered the money underutilized following which no funds were earmarked in the next fiscal year.

A senior ministry official said that the summary of the project had been forwarded to the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) for approval after which further action would be taken.