DIAL’s 2010 room service falls short

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is expected to be ready with only a sixth of the 3,000 rooms projected by next year in the IGI Airport’s upcoming hospitality district...

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published: March 26, 2009 2:05 am

‘Will be able to build only 500 of projected 3,000 rooms’

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is expected to be ready with only a sixth of the 3,000 rooms projected by next year in the IGI Airport’s upcoming hospitality district,a Parliamentary committee report has said. DIAL officials,too,admit there’s little time to build 3,000 rooms,and the airport developer is gearing up to ensure as many possible are up in time for the mega-event.

The report on ‘Development of Tourism Infrastructure and Amenities for 2010 Commonwealth Games’ says DIAL is expected to pool in only 500 rooms in the 45-acre project. As per projections,Delhi would be short of at least 15,000 rooms for the Games.

On its part,DIAL is now assessing bids for the hospitality project from realty developers. But it is yet to decide how many rooms will be ready in time.

DIAL spokesperson Arun Arora said results of the bids recently held will be announced “very soon”.

According to senior officials,the bids fell short by a fair margin: they reportedly fetched the airport developer Rs 700 to Rs 800 crore,against approximately Rs 2,700 crore when the previous bids were opened last year. The one-year gap and the deteriorating economic conditions have led to the shortfall,officials said.

Sources in the civil aviation ministry said DIAL has now been asked to expand its revenue base from the hospitality district. As per an agreement with the government,DIAL would use 5 per cent of 5,000 acres of airport land for commercial purposes. It has so far released 65 acres,out of 250 acres of allocated land,for bids where hotels will be constructed in a built-up area of 45 acres.

The shortfall is a result of delays due DIAL’s differences with the Airports Authority of India (AAI),which had earlier opposed DIAL’s plan to finance the airport’s modernisation by taking deposits against lease contracts in the hospitality district. The AAI had raised its objections fearing that the process could affect its 45.9-per cent revenue share clause with DIAL. As a result,the plan to build 3,000 rooms across all categories — from super-luxury to budget accommodations — had run into trouble,with the ministry asking DIAL to work out another arrangement. The bidding process on 13 plots was given a go-ahead late last year.

Centaur and Radisson are the only two hotels close to the city airport. The IGI hospitality district is likely to be built on the vacant land opposite Radisson Hotel,running from NH-8 to IGI.

Total airport land: 5,000 acres
DIAL can use 5% commercially
area for hospitality: 65 acres
built-up area: 45 acres
Bids invited twice
Original plan was to build 3,000 rooms for 2010 Games
Present status: Not decided yet (DIAL says can say only after bids open; Parliamentary panel says approx 500 rooms)

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