S.P. Singh, a subscriber of the guesthouse scheme for the Commonwealth Games, is not very optimistic about the number of visitors that would travel to Ghaziabad for accommodation during the Games. And he is worried he would lose returns on the investment.
The scheme, which opened in Ghaziabad district, has only four finished guesthouses — out of 17 applicants — in Surya Nagar, Ramprastha, Chandra Nagar and Kaushambi.
The Ghaziabad Development Authority required special board-approvals to change the land-use for the guesthouse scheme in residential areas. However, other applicants haven’t either turned up or completed their no objection certificate requirements.
“The bookings are not coming. For the time being, only local bookings have been the source of income. Things don’t look very promising,” Singh said. He has invested about
R4 crore to build a 16-room luxury facility in Kaushambi under the scheme.
However, GDA vice-chairman Narendra Kumar Chaudhary had a different opinion. “This depends upon the viability of the project. The owners may not be interested due to heavy investments,” he said.
Guesthouse owners and applicants, on the other hand, said most visitors aren’t expected to turn up because of lack of proper infrastructure.
“The Metro project will only finish after the Games. The roads are still being widened. Encroachments and beautification facilities are yet to complete unlike in other NCR areas,” said another guesthouse scheme applicant.
While GDA officials still await seven applicants to complete their NOC requirements, major share of Games’ visitors will likely be taken over by the three-, four- and five-star hotels in Ghaziabad and Noida.
“This scheme never got started in Noida. We are now banking on the five, four and three star hotels to provide accommodation to visitors as Noida has a good Metro connectivity with Delhi,” said R.P. Kaushik, Senior Town Planner from Noida Authority.
Still, GDA officials claimed they met their commitment of 1,067 rooms for the Games.