Railways’ budget hotel project hits a road block

Railways’ budget hotel project hits a road block
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First Published: Tue, Jul 03 2007. 01 27 PM IST
By PTI
New Delhi: The proposed construction of 100 railway budget hotels across India to meet the Commonwealth Games tourist rush that has hit a road block with no clear signal as to which authority will execute them.
The Ministry of Railways had last month created a new Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA) as part of its new policy to take care of the bidding process of these hotels, which was earlier being done by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC).
“Nothing has moved further ever since the authority is created. It is not clear who is in charge of the things,” said a senior ministry official.
The mandate of RLDA is to develop new budget hotels on unused railway lands. If the new policy comes through, this statutory authority of the railways may also have to look after the renovation, maintenance and operation of the hotels that has been under the supervision of IRCTC so far.
IRCTC will then have to take care of the catering and hospitality part only. Earlier, there were plans to hand over the Rail Yatri Niwas and Rail Ratna (budget hotels) to private operators on a 15-year and 30-year lease, a ministry source said.
The plans also envisaged dividing the ownership of rooms between the builder and the Railways on 70:30 ratio.
But initial biddings had raised many eye-brows, so all previous deals are under the scanner now, the source added.
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First Published: Tue, Jul 03 2007. 01 27 PM IST