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Migrant workers, medical tourism fuelling guest house boom in Gurugram

There are between 4,000 and 5,000 guest houses across Gurugram, officials said.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 20, 2018 09:29 IST
Prayag Arora-Desai
Prayag Arora-Desai
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,Gurugram guest houses,Gurugram medical tourism
A new draft policy for guest houses is in the works. Officials say guest houses are synonymous with development.(Yogendra Kumar/HT Photo)

A growing population of professionals, combined with the rise in medical tourism, is spurring an increase in the number of guest houses in Gurugram, according to officials, who estimate that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 such establishments across the city.

Even as residents continue to oppose these enterprises, guest house owners have expressed hope that the new draft policy being prepared by the district town and country planning department and the urban local bodies will bolster their business. “We would welcome a regularisation of the business. We have been operating these places for so long, yet we are not recognised as legitimate businessmen,” said Hemant Gupta, a guest house owner.

Mohan Singh, district town planner, said that guest houses are synonymous with development as they house the city’s growing labour force. “The topic of guest houses is a touchy one, because, on one hand, they add a lot of strain on residential infrastructure, but they are also fulfilling an essential requirement for the city’s less privileged working class,” Singh said.

Members of the Millennium City Guest House Association (MCGA), an organisation representing proprietors of more than 200 guest houses, said the densest cluster of such establishments can be found near business hubs, such as in DLF Phase 2. These started coming up in the late 1990s, after buildings like the DLF Corporate Park, DLF Square, Signature Towers and MK Tower became operational.

“People were coming to the city to work and the space crunch suddenly became immense. Gurugram was only beginning to shed its image of a village then,” said Gupta.

He said the few options available around that time were barely enough to house the influx of working-class migrants, which increased exponentially due to the BPO sector. As per Census data, the population of Gururgam grew at a rate of 14.7% between 2001 and 2011.

Ajay Bhasin, who moved to Gurugram in 2004 to work at a call centre, said, “Guest houses are the few places where we didn’t have to worry about things like water and electricity. Gated communities were costly, so my colleagues and I used to strike deals with guest houses.”

According to Rajendra Sharma, district town planner (enforcement), the current market is saturated. “There might be more guest houses coming up, but they not profitable,” he said.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 09:29 IST