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Noida draws up Games plan

Ten 5-star, five 4-star and 10 3-star hotels will come up along the Noida Expressway, writes Rajkumare Tankha.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 03:05 IST

As the hospitality industry in Gurgaon and Faridabad gears up to tap the Commonwealth Games boom, Noida is also setting its house in order.

The Noida Authority has selected sites for 25 hotels to cater to the rush of foreign players and other visitors. The Noida Authority Board cleared the proposal early this month.

According to Noida Authority chief executive officer Sanjiv Saran, the decision was taken following a directive from the state government.

Last month, tourism minister Ambika Soni had written to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, asking him to create residential facilities for the rush of tourists during the  2010 Games.  “The minister had specifically asked for 25 hotels. Delhi can house only 6,000 people whereas the expected tourist inflow is 20,000. Noida has to gear up to accommodate these people,” said Saran.

As of now, there is just one five-star hotel — Radisson MBD in sector 18— and two three-star hotels — Shipra in Sector 18 and Nirulas in Sector 2 — in Noida. Radisson has 120 rooms and is fully occupied most of the time; so is the Savoy Suits in Sector 16.

“We are finalising the terms and conditions. We will come out with the scheme in the next 15 days. The hotels need to be ready well before the Games,” added Saran.

According to the plan, 10 five-star hotels, five four-star and 10 three-star hotels will be constructed in Noida.

“All these hotels will come up in sectors along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. It is the best possible location from the point of view of connectivity with Delhi,” said Saran.

The sites for the 10 five-star hotels are in sectors 97, 98 and 99. Six acres of land will be allotted for each five-star hotel and each will have 300 rooms. Five per cent of the land will be used to set up a shopping arcade in each hotel.

The five four-star hotels will come up in sectors 72, 103, 105 and 135. About 12,500 sq.m land will be allotted for each of these. The 10 three-star hotels will be spread across  sectors 62, 63, 72, 103, 105, 124, 135 and 142. Here, too, five per cent of the land in each hotel will be earmarked for a shopping complex.

Private players in Noida have welcomed the decision but the Federation of Restaurants and Hotels Associations of India is skeptical.

“Noida definitely needs more hotels, and not just for the Commonwealth Games. The city is coming up as a major business capital. There are scores of big industries, MNCs and software units here. We organize corporate meets and conferences and have to house our guests in Delhi. Apart from Radisson, there is no decent hotel here,” said Atul Gupta, former president of the Uttar Pradesh Architects Association.

NC Somaiah, general manager, Radisson MBD, said, “The city needs more hotels. Maybe not immediately, but five years hence, definitely. Considering the way Noida and Greater Noida are developing there is bound to be a huge demand for hotels in future.”

But Manbeer Chowdhary, president, Federation of the Restaurants and Hotels Association of India, said the focus should be more on budget hotels.

“Uttar Pradesh is perhaps taking advantage since Delhi is sleeping on the issue. But Noida can definitely supplement accommodation during Commonwealth Games. However, I am not sure if opening 10 five-star hotels makes much business sense in Noida. I think what we need is more of budget hotels,” Chowdhary said.