The physical possession of Hotel Park Plaza in Sector-17 passed on to a consortium of lenders amidst high drama on Friday with the hotel management deploying bouncers and staff members to resist the move. The hotel management has been unable to pay back Rs 130-crore loan to the Punjab National Bank, the United Bank of India and Assets Reconstruction Company of India (ARCIL) it started borrowing in 2007.
A posse of around 40 officers from the three stakeholders, accompanied by support staff and the police, entered the hotel at around 11.15am on Friday and finished sealing the hotel in three hours.
All 250 guests staying at the hotel, among them actor Mangal Dhillon, were asked to vacate within five minutes.
Bank officials were seen announcing guests to vacate within five minutes on a public address system. On August 3, district magistrate Anil Balaji Joshi had ordered that the possession of the hotel be passed on to these lenders after they moved an application.
“In spite of several requests and warnings, the hotel failed to repay its loan and we were forced to take possession. A notice that the property would be sealed was also pasted on the walls of the hotel three days ago. So, the hotel was informed of our decision,” said Punjab National Bank assistant general manager SN Gupta.
250 GUESTS LEFT IN A RUSH CURTAINS FOR FASHION EXHIBITION
With the announcement on the PA system creating panic among the 250-odd guests in around rooms, some left their breakfast in between. Others left in their night clothes. Actor Mangal Dhillon and his crew of 10 who had booked rooms for a week alleged that the police and the officials misbehaved with them.
“Such a turn of events is shocking. We never expected to be thrown out of a hotel in a city like Chandigarh,” Dhillon said.
A fashion exhibition slated to open at the hotel on Friday could not be held with the organisers forced to leave the venue.
HOTEL CMD ALLEGES POLITICAL VENDETTA
Chairman and managing director of the hotel, HS Arora, who is an NRI, said, “It is political vendetta to grab my ` 700 crore property. I will approach the Centre, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demand that justice be done.”