The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Steel town on smart hotel site map

Durgapur, July 9: The Taj group has approached the government for plots to set up budget hotels in towns where investment is being welcomed.

Commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen said here today the group, which has a presence in Calcutta in the form of Taj Bengal, has shown interest in setting up a star hotel in the steel township.

“They have spoken to us about setting up a star hotel in Durgapur. The Asansol and Durgapur Development Authority will provide the land. Officials of the Taj group have already been to a site,” Sen said.

Chief secretary Ashok Gupta said tonight the Taj group was interested in several locations and Durgapur was one of them. “They met us. But they are yet to take a final decision,” he added.

Executives of Indian Hotels, the holding company for hotels in the Tata stable, declined comment when contacted in Calcutta and Mumbai.

The Tatas have already set up a low-tariff hotel in Bangalore. The “smart basic” hotel at Whitefield on the outskirts of India’s Silicon Valley was launched under the brand name Indione.

“They have shown interest in setting up similar hotels here,” a state official said.

The Tatas aim to set up nearly 150 such hotels in India and abroad over the next five years. Single rooms will be priced at Rs 900 for a night and double rooms Rs 950. “The concept is catching up fast in India because there is a massive dearth of mid-segment hotels that maintain quality and standard,” said a senior hotel and tourism analyst.

Addressing a programme at the Export Promotion Industrial Park at Kanksa near here, Sen said hotel chains have shown interest in the township because of an investment boom. About Rs 6,000 crore has been invested in Burdwan in the past few years, the minister added.

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