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Gambling racket: ‘Glaring lapses’ by Chandigarh’s Hotel Shivalkview come to the fore

The racket allegedly continued for five days at the four-star hotel in room number 401. Among the 27 caught were businessmen from Rajpura, Zirakpur and other parts of Punjab.

punjab Updated: Aug 11, 2018 14:25 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Gambling,Chandigarh’s Hotel Shivalkview
(HT File)

Two days after the UT police busted a high-profile gambling racket at Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17, run by Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation (CITCO), ‘glaring lapses’ on the part of the hotel staff and authorities has come to the fore as HT spoke to several employees.

Pankaj Khanna, member, Board of Directors, CITCO, said, “Gambling going on by as many as 27 persons points to the glaring lapses by the authorities and staffers at Hotel Shivalikview.”

Chandigarh police in its letter to CITCO has also said them to look into the ‘lapses.’

The racket allegedly continued for five days at the four-star hotel in room number 401 on the fourth floor. Among the 27 people caught were businessmen from Rajpura, Zirakpur and other parts of Punjab. Police recovered ₹16.4 lakh from the room.

The officials in different departments – housekeeping, front office, food and beverages and security — failed to detect the activities of 27 persons, even as CITCO chief general manager Uma Shankar Gupta had said that hotel staff claimed that these men used to enter the room separately and never in a group.

The hotel authorities did not follow basic standard operating procedures (SOPs), said employees on condition of anonymity. As the lettable room is located in the centre of the fourth floor, which has access to the third and fifth floors, officials and employees of different departments visit the floor for their assigned duties.

Questions on different departments

Once the room is booked by the guests, front office and housekeeping have to make their internal reports in terms of number of persons staying in a room, but here the follow up purportedly was lacking diligence, which led to many unauthorised persons in the room.

Also under the rights to admission reserved, hotel authorities can come into the room to check any suspicious activity, but the staff of different departments overlooked the illegal activity in room no. 401.

Even the housekeeping staff provides primary facility of serving water, changing linens and providing toiletries every day, but here too the gambling went unchecked

Questions also arise as to how 27 persons could go on for five days without ordering food and water proper food for five days, when eatables are not allowed from outside.

The room manager has to monitor the occupancy daily as complimentary breakfast, wherever applicable, is to be provided to the customers and other food and beverage services is to be charged during the breakfast.

The F and B staff has to provide information about used food coupons and food bills, if any, to the front desk for reconciliation and accounting purposes. The room manager further coordinates with the security department as well to ascertain the actual usage of the room with occupancy chart of the hotel.

Internal security could not detect the entry of 27 persons despite high resolution CCTV cameras.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 14:21 IST