Going by the snail’s pace at which different city agencies responsible for creating accommodation for the Commonwealth Games are moving, it does not look like the Capital will be ready to host the approximately one lakh tourists expected to visit during the sporting extravaganza.
As its is, the authorities have fallen way short of tiding over the shortage of 30,000 hotel rooms in the city.
To add to the woes, the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee (OC) is yet to start the process of blocking rooms in existing city hotels.
Hoteliers say they are yet to get any definite instructions from government about booking of hotel rooms for the Commonwealth Games.
According to them, the delay will result in shortage of rooms as hotels would soon start booking for the peak tourist season (which starts from October 2009 and continues till mid 2010).
In a meeting held last month, Tourism Minister, Kumari Selja had said the OC would be setting up a Games Travel Office which will be responsible for booking upto 40 per cent of the hotels for the games.
But, the Travel Office is yet to take off.
"We are in the final stages of setting up the travel office. It will be ready by the end of this month,” said VK Verma, Director General, Organizing Committee.
“The travel office will have a website which will book between 25 to 40 per cent of the hotel rooms and market it abroad. For the remaining rooms, the hoteliers will have to market it themselves."
Hoteliers, however, say that they won't keep waiting forever to block rooms.
"If booking for the next season start coming in, we would do it. Any further delay can result in shortage of available rooms during the games," said Deepak Sharma, secretary general, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI).
"The OC is hoping that they would be able to manage through the ITDC group of hotels which have been designated games hotel. But, the government should take stock and start taking commitment from hoteliers from now only so that there is no last minute chaos," said Rajendra Kumar, vice president, FHRAI.