Delhi’s Janpath Hotel will be demolished to make way for govt offices
Last year, the government decided to exit four ITDC-run hotels across India, including Janpath Hotel, as part of its Rs 72,500 crore disinvestment plan for 2017-18.delhi Updated: May 22, 2018 23:29 IST
Janpath Hotel, one of the state-run ITDC’s prime properties in the capital, will soon be demolished and redeveloped to house central government offices, three government officials familiar with the development said, detailing a plan, which could spell the end of an iconic hotel that has fallen on hard times.
A committee of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary PK Sinha, set up last year to work out details such as land usage and how the hotel property should be used, has approved the proposal to develop the 4.4 acre plot in the heart of the capital for so-called General Pool Official Accommodation (GPOA).
The Janpath Hotel has a built-up space of five lakh sq ft.
Together with another five acre plot on 30 Thyagraj Marg that the government has identified for developing GPOA, this will result in creation of approximately 1 million sq ft of space for housing central government offices.
Last year, the government decided to exit four ITDC-run hotels across India, including Janpath Hotel, as part of its Rs 72,500 crore disinvestment plan for 2017-18. As part of the process, last May, the Union cabinet approved the transfer of Janpath Hotel to the Union housing and urban affairs ministry, the owner of the land.
Delhi has a huge shortage of land to accommodate central government offices, forcing many of them to run from rented properties.
The Union housing and urban affairs ministry estimates the shortage at 4.2 million sq ft.
“The Janpath Hotel property has a built up space of 500,000 sq. ft , of which it was using just 50,000 . To make more optimal use of the available space and save government the money spent on renting properties to house various central government offices, it was decided to redevelop it for GPOA,” one of the officials cited above said on condition of anonymity.
According to realty experts, the Janpath Hotel property would have fetched a windfall if it was used to develop commercial office space.
“In Connaught Place, the current built-up sale price of commercial properties is in the range of Rs 20,000 per sq ft while the going rental rate for commercial properties in the area is Rs 200 sq ft per month,” said Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants.
Another realty expert, who did not want to be named, said it is not a fair comparison since the government will be using the property to house its employees, which is equally important considering the shortage of office space. “Also they have proposed a self-financing model for developing the property, which means there won’t be any spending from the government coffers.”
The housing ministry will soon move the cabinet for formal approval of the plan. The second official said, also on condition of anonymity, that the housing ministry wants National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) to implement the project.
NBCC has proposed a self-financing model for the development, in which a portion of the property will be put to commercial use to fund the rest of the project.
The third official, who asked not to be identified, said that NBCC recently made a presentation to the committee of secretaries recently on how it plans to develop the property. It listed five options: selling the property; redeveloping it as a hotel, a block of service apartments, or commercial-cum-official accommodation; or for GPOA.
“The committee decided to choose the last option of developing the property for housing central government offices,” the third official added.
A housing ministry official said that in its present form, the hotel building has to undergo major rehabilitation work. An inspection report by IIT Roorkee found the hotel structure “unserviceable” and in “distressed condition”.
It did not meet the necessary seismic requirement too. “So it was decided to demolish the existing structure and redevelop it,” added the official who did not want to be identified.
First Published: May 22, 2018 23:29 IST