They were touted as one of the most important revenue generating sources for the Delhi government. But all expectations fell flat when reality struck.
The 13 high-end hotels built especially for the Games last year found only 91 takers. The total number of rooms in these 13 hotels is 2,500 (approx.). The government was expecting lakhs of tourists to occupy these hotels during the Games.
Answering a question posed by MLA Naresh Gaur in the Assembly on Thursday, urban development minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said of the 33 hotels that were to be readied before the Games, only 13 were fit to be occupied by guests.
While 70 tourists stayed in Okhla, 20-odd chose District Centre in Paschim Vihar. The hotels in Mayur Vihar, Hari Nagar, Vivek Vihar, Rohini, Dwarka saw no occupancy.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had auctioned 33 hotel sites to create 6,000 rooms. But with high reserve price and unviable locations, the project had failed to get bidders initially.
Many plots were then put on auction half-a-dozen times before they found buyers.
Chauhan added that out of the 33 hotels only seven were fully constructed while work on the rest was still being carried out. Six other hotels that were partially ready were given 'limited terms use permission certificate by DDA as their residential component was complete, thus taking the total to 13.
Sources blamed negative publicity surrounding the Games for low occupancy at the hotels. Officials at the Delhi airport and in the Ministry of External Affairs said only 8,000 foreign tourists turned up for the Games though the government had expected more than one lakh.
The ripple effect was visible not only these hotels but also at a number of guesthouses and budget hotels across the city.
"In the Vidhan Sabha the government had said more than 2 lakh tourists would be coming. A number of hotels are not even ready and DDA had given them land at such a low rate to ensure there would be no shortage of rooms," the MLA said.