A surprise crackdown on illegal women’s hostels in the city has brought 227 such establishments under the scanner for operating without filing applications for registration.
Chennai Collector A Shanmuga Sundram told The Hindu that civil and criminal action would be initiated against these hostels. “These are hostels which have not bothered to even submit the application for registration. We have already given them ample time. A show cause notice will be sent to them,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
While five of the hostels were immediately shut down on Tuesday, the Collector informed that two more would be closed. Of the 227 hostels, Chennai’s IT corridor has the highest number at 79. The rest include 23 in Guindy, 20 in Velachery and 18 in Mylapore. Electricity and water supply will be cut for these establishments as a first step.
The move was instigated by a series of complaints about unregistered hostels in the city. Special Enquiry Teams (SET) have now been formed to look into the cases and in the coming weeks, more such raids are expected to be conducted across the city.
As per the Tamil Nadu Hostels and Home for Women and Children (Regulation) Act, 2015, all women and children's hostels have to be registered with their respective district collectorate.
In December 2018, the Chennai Collector had issued a mandate that all hostels must be registered with immediate effect in the district. According to latest official data, 1,050 working women’s hostels have filed applications seeking registration so far. Applicants can find details of their registration on the district collector’s website.
Hostels seeking registration will have to provide licences and certificates from different departments, including Fire and Rescue services, Greater Chennai Corporation and Revenue.
The Collector has also informed that there are plans to categorise hostels as an industry and bring it under single window clearance.