AMID HIGH drama which continued for nearly three hours, a consortium of banks and financial institutions, led by Punjab National Bank (PNB), on Friday took possession of Hotel Park Plaza in Sector 17 in the presence of around 300 guests. The hotel owes over Rs 103 crore — Rs 33.49 crore to PNB, Rs 11.61 crore to United Bank of India (UBI) and Rs 58.02 crore to Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (ARCIL).
UT district magistrate Ajit Balaji Joshi on August 3 had passed an order for taking physical possession of the hotel. The hotel management was served a three-day notice by the banks before taking possession.
Representatives of all the three financial institutions along with the police arrived on the site around 10.30 am and started putting up banners and notices on the boundary walls and gates of the hotel stating that the property had been taken over by the banks.
To stop the bank officials and the police from entering the premises, the hotel management deployed bouncers and other security staff at the gate. The hotel staff had a confrontation with the bank officials and police officials. After struggling for around 30 minutes, the bank officials with the help of cops managed to get inside the hotel.
The current market value of the property, which is adjoining Chandigarh branch of Reserve Bank of India, is estimated to be worth around Rs 500 crore. Apart from the hotel building, there is commercial land measuring 9,602 square yards.
H S Arora, managing director of the hotel, termed the orders biased and said: “For loan amounting to around Rs 103 crore, they have taken possession of property worth around Rs 500 crore.”
Pankaj Chaudhary, senior manager of UBI, and S N Gupta, assistant general manager of PNB, said that the hotel was a big defaulter and they took possession after following all the laid down norms.
A total of 60 rooms of the hotel were occupied. There were around 300 customers inside the hotel when they were asked to leave by the police and bank staff.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, a mother-daughter duo of Dolly and Gurleen Kaur, residents of Jalandhar, said that they were in their room when some people came and asked us to pack our bags and leave.
The bank officials made announcements from the reception area informing the customers that the possession of the hotel had been taken by the banks.
Anupam, who had come with his two children and wife to take part in an ongoing exhibition in the hotel, said he had just entered the hotel when the police came inside the hotel and asked us to leave. The customers, who were in the restaurant and cafeteria, were also asked to leave the hotel.
Film actor and producer Mangal Dhillon, who was putting up in the hotel, alleged that the bank officials and police pushed him and other guests. “They insulted every guest and misbehaved with them,” said Dhillon while talking to mediapersons.
The police had blocked roads leading to the hotel on Jan Marg, which led to traffic chaos. The traffic movement was delayed by around 15 minutes.
After the court order, the hotel was re-opened in the evening and customers who checked in were allowed to move into their rooms.
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