J&K Govt to Take Over Hotel at Dal Lake

J&K Govt to Take Over Hotel at Dal Lake
With the deal between Shahid Balwa-led hotel group and Centaur hotel being scrapped by the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir Government will soon submit a proposal to the Civil Aviation Ministry for control of the hotel located at the banks of the famous Dal lake.

A proposal to this effect would be submitted soon to the Hotel Corporation of India, a subsidiary of Air India, after which negotiations would be carried out over issues relating to sharing of revenue between the state government and the Civil Aviation Ministry.

However, without divulging the offer amount that would be made to the HCI, the sources said details were being worked out for the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) to have management rights over the property.

Junior tourism Minister Nasir Wani told PTI that the proposal was being worked out and the state government would like to make it a nice tourism spot keeping in mind that the world famous Royal Spring Golf course was adjacent to it.

"If the proposal works out, the state government would also like to promote water sports around the Centaur area," he said.

The state Government is meeting next week to stake its claim for taking over the hotel and submit a proposal on behalf of JKTDC to the HCI, he said.

Earlier, Air India decided to scrap the controversial deal between Shahid Balwa's hotel chain and Hotel Corporation of India to have management rights over Centaur Hotel as it came under scanner following Balwa's arrest by the CBI in connection with his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.

Balwa's alleged links with global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim had also raised eyebrows keeping in view the strategic location of the hotel which also houses the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre where all VIPs including Prime Ministers hold meetings during their visits.

Balwa is at present in judicial custody and has been named by the CBI as an accused in the first chargesheet in the 2G case filed by the investigating agency.

"The day this issue was brought to my notice, I asked the Air India Chairman to cancel it. Now I have been told that the Air India Board has decided to cancel the deal completely and also inform the Jammu and Kashmir High Court," Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi had said earlier.

BD and P Hotels (India) Private Limited, a subsidiary of Balwa’s DB Realty group, had bagged 30-year management rights to the Centaur Hotel last September. The state government had protested to then Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and urged him to stop the deal.

The 252-room hotel built over 13 acres in 1982 was leased by the state government to the HCI.
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