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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Convention centres to offer lodging soon

Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 10, 2013
First Published: 21:48 IST(10/7/2013) | Last Updated: 00:32 IST(11/7/2013)
Convention centres in the Capital may soon offer accommodation facilities to guests who come to attend conferences and seminars.

A committee of experts reviewing the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 has approved the setting up of hotels and related activities in convention centres. According to the present MPD norms, international convention centres are classified as public and semi-public facilities, where hotels are not permitted.

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However, the committee took the view that there is a need for permitting hotels in order to reduce the movement (travelling) between the conference venue and places where the guests stay. It, hence, suggested that hotel facilities may be permitted in convention centres. The suggestion would now go to an advisory committee, headed by the Lieutenant Governor - who is also the chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) - for approval. The committee has recommended a maximum of 40% of a centre's floor area ratio be permitted for use as hotels and other related activities.

The suggestion to allow hotels in international convention centres, apart from an overall increase in the floor area ratio, had come from the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India. The federation has presented a report on similar facilities available in convention centres in six international cities.

The hotels' association had also suggested food courts, restaurants and multiplexes at convention centres, but no decision has been taken on that yet.

"If these changes in the MPD get a final approval, it would help in building international standard convention centres in Delhi. At present there are a few good convention centres in the Capital but they are not big enough to hold international conferences," said a DDA official, not wishing to be named.

The new norms would help in providing more facilities at convention centres such as the one being built by DDA in Dwarka Sector 11 that is spread over 10 acres. DDA is planning to come up with three other convention centres - one each in south Delhi, Pitampura in northwest Delhi and Shahdara in east Delhi.

The new norms would also help the proposed international convention centre at Pragati Maidan.


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