Students yet to pay mess dues
Six hostels under Arts College have to get Rs.6 crore in dues from students: senior official.
It has been 10 days since the closure of hostel messes in Osmania University (OU), as mess dues of Rs.7 crore remain unpaid. Protesting against the closure and demanding that the TS government release the amount, several Ph.D scholars have been on hunger strike since June 21.
While students point fingers at the government, which they said the latter reportedly promised to waive off the mess dues and provide more funding to OU, the fact remains that many boarders in different hostels of the varsity simply do not pay their hostel dues. A senior official from the Arts College revealed that six hostels under the institution alone have to get Rs.6 crore in dues from students, which has accumulated since 2005.
Senior academicians, requesting anonymity, claim that dues across all the hostels of OU over the past years could be around Rs.10 crore as several students do not pay their dues. “Many of them just don’t pay, and are not bothered when their degree certificates are withheld,” he pointed out, adding that until now, the management was using internal sources of income such as funds received in the form of fees from admissions of foreign students, to pay hostel dues.
“Now everything has dried up, and we have no money to pay,” remarked another senior official from the Arts College. A professor from the college also pointed out that efforts were made a few years ago to collect dues from students by withholding their degree certificates before they graduate.
“But several hostellers would forego it and take admission in another PG course, remaining in the hostel, thereby owing us money for four years,” said the former principal of the Arts College. The situation was better among the science and MBA students, as about 60 per cent pay their dues on time.
In the ongoing hunger strike, the Ph.D scholars have also demanded that the government grant fellowships of Rs.8, 000 and Rs.3, 000 to them and post-graduate students. “It has been 10 months since we stopped getting fellowship of Rs.1, 000 and Rs.800 for SC/ST and OBC students,” said Venkateswarulu, a research scholar