KB Murali, the president of the Kerala Social Centre, says that as rents have gone up and buildings have been torn down, there are fewer and fewer places for bachelors to live. It is bank clerks, drivers, hair dressers, and tea boys who are struggling the hardest to find a room in the capital, he says. The number of demolition permits issued in 2008 by the municipality's town planning section reached 282 in 2008, up from 162 the previous year, a 74 per cent increase.
"There is always resistance from the landlords to bachelors," he said. "The rent has gone up to an extent where they can not even afford the bad conditions. Now what they are doing is moving out of the city, which in itself is a problem," he added, noting that many men do not drive. "Many of them are living in terrible conditions," he said. * The National