In Delhi, over the last one year, students from various geographical locations of the country have been protesting and mobilizing students from different Delhi University colleges to demand implementation of Delhi Rent Control Act, and accommodation for all outstation students as laid down in the Section 33 of Delhi University Act 1922. Under the banner ‘Delhi Room Rent Movement‘, over the last few months, from organizing meetings across student-dominated areas like Mukherjee Nagar and Laxmi Nagar to protesting outside the CM’s house, the students have tried it all. In the absence of adequate hostel rooms across for everyone, students continue to pay exorbitant rents for shack-like one room sets, often without a kitchen and any window whatsoever.
Now, as both the state government and Delhi University administration continue to ignore them despite their growing support across colleges, students from the movement are sitting on an indefinite dharna at the Faculty of Arts in Delhi University from 20th of August.
The clamour for Rent control is gradually picking momentum across all major metro cities in India. From online petitions to student movements demanding government’s intervention on sky-rocketing rents and unfair renting conditions like 10 month security deposits, the collective demand for either replacing archaic rent laws or introducing rent control measures cannot be ignored any more. For a nation that’s poised to witness migration of millions from villages to cities and urban pockets across the country, we probably need to think more about rent control measures than our smart city fantasies to ensure affordable housing for everyone.
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