COVID-19 Impact: Kathmandu Valley sees closure of over 300 hostels

Sabina Karki

August 29, 2020

4 MIN READ

COVID-19 Impact: Kathmandu Valley sees closure of over 300 hostels
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KATHMANDU: Hundreds of hostels facilitating the students’ stay in Kathmandu are facing financial crisis due to coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken to curb the pandemic.

Most of the hostels are shut down after the lockdown the government enforced since March 23 as the students living there left for home dreading the pandemic. The business itself is in stake due to long closure enforced to curb the pandemic.

Most of the students who had been living in hostels returned home as the educational institutions are shut down for a long time.

In the meantime, the proprietors of the hostels are at a loss as they are unable to pay the rent of the facilities they have been using.

Some of the proprietors have even left their business permanently as found themselves unable to pay the rent.

According to Govinda Giri, former General Secretary of Hostel Federation, more than 300 hostels have pulled down their shutters in Kathmandu Valley alone.

All hostels are lying empty for more than 5 months now. Even the people who awaited the hostels to resume are disappointed seeing the mounting number of coronavirus cases and prohibitory orders enforced to ‘curb’ them.

“Only the hostels which have got their rent waived off 50% or so by their generous landlords are still in operation,” he said, “Only those who have got the concession to pay after the normalcy have dared to stay in the business.”

He added that the hostels which got the pressure to pay for the rent as before irrespective of the pandemic induced crisis are compelled on their own to go for closure.

“Some entrepreneurs have given up the business for good whereas some others have kept stored their goods at another hostel and are sharing the rent,” Giri told Khabarhub, “Some have even sold their goods at the cost of garbage and taken to their heels from the business.”

Giri is the proprietor of Marigold Girls Hostel, Putalisadak.

He thinks the government should play affirmatively to help the crisis out.

“The government should provide concessional loan to the entrepreneurs mortgaging the hostels themselves,” he further said, “The state should recognize the fact that the hostels are also contributing to producing skilled manpower for the nation.”

He has also requested the landlords to consider the hard time the entrepreneurs are going through due to this pandemic.

“I request the landlords to be considerate to the hostel entrepreneurs as the latter can pay only when the students, their clients, pay to them,” Giri spoke imploringly.

More than 6000 job cuts due to the hostel closure

According to Giri, more than 6000 people dependent on hostel business have lost their jobs due to the present crisis.

“There were more than 1200 hostels in the country and each had employed at least 5 staff,” he told Khabarhub, “Now with the shutting down of the hostels all the workers have lost their job.”

All hostels are lying empty for more than 5 months now. Even the people who awaited the hostels to resume are disappointed seeing the mounting number of coronavirus cases and prohibitory orders enforced to ‘curb’ them.

Hostel had been a prospering business in Kathmandu Valley lately. Finding that hostel life would be cheaper, convenient and study-friendly than rented rooms, it was growing to be a first choice of the students entering the valley to further their education.

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