BAITHAK, A Punjabi-styled restaurant, of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) at Kalagram has been closed for general public since it was leased out to a private firm in November last year.
As per official records, the entire premises of Baithak — banquet hall with adjoining lawn area and kitchen on the ground floor; a restaurant with kitchen and open terrace on the first floor; and bar, open courtyard, party hall, etc on ground floor — was leased out for a period of seven years on a monthly licence fee of Rs 6.05 lakh per month to Sunrise Integrated Facility Private Limited. The firm took possession of Baithak on November 2.
However, a Chandigarh Newsline team on Friday found that the restaurant wore a deserted look. The main gate was locked and a security guard was the lone person present on the premises. He said that the restaurant had not been functioning for the past many months and that they had been only renting out the banquet hall for private
CITCO chief general manager (CGM) Navjot Kaur said that the restaurant was not functioning as the firm wanted to renovate it first before throwing it open to the general public. “The firm has sought permission from us to make changes according to their need,” she added.
CITCO Progressive Workers’ Union president Prem Lal said that they would take up the issue with the management of the corporation.
CITCO had leased out Baithak to the firm as it had been incurring heavy losses for the past few years. The corporation had faced criticism for not being able to recover the security amount worth Rs 36.30 lakh from the firm in time. As per the condition of the contract, the licensee was required to deposit a security amount equivalent to six months’ licence fee in the form of bank guarantee at the time of taking possession.
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THE same company had a contract with CITCO for supplying utility workers to different units of the corporation. CITCO vide an order issued on May 10 debarred the firm from future tendering into the corporation up to three years after it failed to supply workers as per terms and conditions of the contract. The security deposit of the company was forfeited too.