Kochi: In view of widespread complaints against private hostels and paying guest facilities functioning without a licence, the police and health department authorities are keeping a vigil over functioning of such institutions.
Last week, police and health authorities served a closure notice on a hostel in Kakkanad, which had been functioning with poor hygiene conditions and without a licence. Based on the complaint submitted by some inmates, health department officials conducted a raid. Some inmates also complained that they were being ill-treated and harassed.
However, Thrikkakkara SI Joseph Thomas told DC that they did not get any complaint regarding poor hygiene in the hostel and had not served a closure notice. “We went there as about 22 inmates who wanted to shift to other hostels wanted their deposit back from the hostel authorities. We directed the owner to return their deposit and the inmates have already vacated.”
Due to the absence of a regulatory body, unauthorised private hostels are mushrooming in every nook and cranny in the city and most of them exploit inmates by charging high fees, but do not provide good food and other facilities.
“The Health Department’s no objection certificate is needed to get a licence from the local body. Since getting NOC requires facilities in the hostel such as rooms with proper ventilation, quality food and clean toilets, most of the hostel owners don’t bother to obtain a licence,” said a top source at the Health Department.
However, if the functioning of a hostel creates a public nuisance, District Medical Officer could take action against the firm with the support of police authorities....