The city desperately needs more hotel rooms to host visitors during the Commonwealth Games. But at least 3,000 of the required 30,000 rooms are unlikely to be ready in time for the Games.
These rooms were to come up as part of 10 hotels in the much-touted hospitality district around Delhi’s upcoming modernised airport. But even now, the developers are grappling over a mutually acceptable model to develop the 50-acre site.
The delay has resulted due to state-owned Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) opposition to a ‘security deposit’ fund-raising exercise by the GMR Group. GMR leads Delhi International Airport Limited, the consortium upgrading Delhi’s airport.
Last year, the GMR Group had created a subsidiary — Delhi Aerotropolis Pvt Limited — to develop a hospitality district on 45 acres by taking security deposits totalling Rs 2,750 crore from realty developers.
AAI objected to the move stating, “raising security deposits from hotel developers amounted to generating revenue.” As per the terms of the revenue-share agreement, AAI was entitled to 46 per cent of this amount as well.
Although the scheme has been abandoned, the clock has been set back on the hospitality district by at least a year.
A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said the GMR Group has now been asked to come up with an alternative fund raising model.
GMR Group officials also say the company is working out other options to end the impasse. “The amount and tenure of security deposit could be reduced,” a GMR Group spokesperson said.
A Civil Aviation Ministry official said a model favouring annual lease rentals paid by hoteliers would be the most acceptable solution.