Despite slowdown,PIDB’s hopes high

A mental asylum may seem like an unlikely location for a five-star hotel,but that is the site in Amritsar being sought by Taj Hotels for their first five-star hotel in Punjab.

Written by Dinker Vashisht | Chandigarh | Published: February 10, 2009 11:53 pm

Hopes buoyed by arrival of Taj Hotels and ADAG

A mental asylum may seem like an unlikely location for a five-star hotel,but that is the site in Amritsar being sought by Taj Hotels for their first five-star hotel in Punjab. While Tata Group has already acquired a part in the proposed mall in the new city centre being developed by Jurong Singapore,the hotel site is a four-acre plot,adjoining the mall located within the 27-acre area of the asylum. Taj Group shall be submitting its application when bids are formally called by Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) in a week’s time.

While the economic slowdown has had adverse impact on some of the projects,PIDB MD S.S. Sandhu says it is expecting a good response to some other projects. Among other projects,the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the four laned Pathankot-Jalandhar-Bathinda-Ajmer highway,being developed by a company of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG),would be received in a month’s time.

The first phase of the project envisages connecting Pathankot to the Punjab-Haryana border on National Highway 10. In Bathinda,the Rs 200-crore five-star hotel project has been alloted to Vipul Hospitality Limited. The state government is also selecting a management partner for the Golden Carriage (TGC),the luxury train proposed to be run jointly by Punjab government and the Railways. The last date for receipt of Expression of Interest (EOI) for the project is February 19.

Similarly,the last date for submission of proposals by prospective investors for a speciality hospital in Mohali is February 11. In this Rs 100-crore project,some land adjoining the Civil Hospital would be given by the state government to the investor for 50 years. The bid for the five-star hotel with international convention centre in Sector 62,Mohali,has been,however,kept on hold in view of the current slowdown. “The estimated cost of project is Rs 350 crore. “Bids will be invited after taking into consideration the actual market position,” says Sandhu.

Similarly,the request for proposal document for Institute of Hotel Management at Bhootgarh in Mohali has been finalised,but the process of calling bids has been held back. The slowdown has had an effect on another prominent PIDB project in the city — that of the bus stand. The project on Design-Build-Operate -Transfer (DBOT) basis was alloted to Aakruti City. But in the re-invitation of bids after the company expressed its inability to complete the project,Gurgaon-based C&C Construction has been selected as concessionaire of the project.

“Some projects were affected because of the slowdown,but we did not lose anything. In case of the Mohali bus stand also,the reserve price was Rs 52 crore and C&C had quoted Rs 57 crore. And in the concession period of 90 years,revenue of around Rs 3,445 crore would be paid to GMADA by the BOT operator,” says Sandhu. The 10-storey project is expected to start in three months and has to be completed in 18 months. A new air-conditioned bus terminal is also being developed on DBOT basis by Spirit Global for Patiala.

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