Monday, February 16, 2009

Accommodation Arrangement might get worse during CWG

Even as India is gearing up to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Ministry of Tourism is not pumping its fists in triumph. It says the Delhi Development Authority, the government of Haryana, and the UP government may not keep their promises on the hospitality front.

Of the 40,000 rooms originally required for the Commonwealth Games, it was estimated that Delhi had about 10,000 rooms. For the construction of the remaining 30,000 rooms, there was an auction, the Delhi Development Authority had committed to build 6,000 hotel rooms but now says only 2,000 can be built before the deadline. Similarly, the UP government has scaled back its original target of 7,000 rooms to about 2,000 while the Haryana government also said only 5,000 rooms would be built instead of the promised 9,000.

The tally: the DDA and the Haryana and UP governments can, between them, only build 9,000 rooms against the committed 22,000 rooms.

The Secretary of Tourism Surjit Banerjee, when contacted, said the authorities, to compensate for the shortfall, have come up with new ideas: the DDA would now come up with three-star housing schemes at Jasola and Vasant Kunj and would build about 4,500 rooms by March 2010.

"Hoteliers need a total of 46 clearances, 23 at state level, while remaining 23 at central level, before they can start construction - we are looking at a single window clearance," Banerjee added.

The ITDC would in charge of catering, furnishing and servicing those rooms. The registered and non-registered guest houses in Delhi would give another 15,000 rooms by 2010.

The Delhi government will also start a new ‘Bed and Breakfast’ scheme that will bring about 3,00 rooms.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism is also asking that the Ministry of Urban Development to make some policy changes to help put the projects on the fast track. And if all goes well, the Ministry of Tourism may escape with just a few scrapes Delhi to be projected in ‘better manner’ during 2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi to be projected in ‘better manner’ during 2010 GamesDelhi to be projected in ‘better manner’ during 2010 Gamesand bruises.