The Delhi government’s bread and breakfast plan, to find alternate accommodation for those likely to visit the city during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is set to become reality.
An ordinance is slated to be issued in August, granting value added tax exemption, subsidised water and power rates while providing minimum standards guidelines for those wanting to start such bread and breakfast plans in their homes. The initiative is an attempt to address what is expected to be a shortage of affordable rooms in the city. The government hopes to add 5,000 rooms under the plan to try and ease shortage of hotel rooms. The programme is designed to enroll homeowners with one to five rooms to spare. The organisers are expecting 1,00,000 visitors for the games.
“Our scheme is more attractive than the central government scheme as we will be exempting these bread and breakfast establishments from paying VAT,” says Rakesh Mehta, principal secretary, Commonwealth Games. “Even with this scheme the room shortage is expected to be in the range of 10,000 rooms to 15,000 rooms.”
The Delhi government’s new legislation will bolster an existing Paying Guest Accommodation Scheme, started in 2003, under which 78 houses are already registered with the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corp. The new bread and breakfast establishments will be charged domestic residential tariffs for water and power supply as against the commercial rates that hotels are charged by utililities. The legislation will address standards and safety issues as well.
“Nowadays, tourism is not just visiting monuments,” says Suman Sharma, chief manager of DTTDC. “This will also help tourists understand the family system in India. It provides for cultural exchange.” The organization will also put the details of participating houses on their website so tourists can make use of the facility.
Rahul Chandran contributed to this story.