Hotel Natraj in Bistupur, one of the probable hosts. (Srinivas)
Jamshedpur, Jan. 19: The guest list is almost ready, but not the rooms.
With the 34th National Games just a few weeks away, the organisers may claim that accommodation arrangements for players, technical officials and visiting dignitaries have been made, but city hotels and club owners are still awaiting a formal confirmation.
More than 1,400 delegates are scheduled to camp in the steel city — which is hosting women’s football, boxing, weightlifting, archery and equestrian — for the Games, beginning February 12.
Although district administration officials held a meeting on accommodation facilities with the hotel authorities on January 5 and asked them to submit their rates and other details like rooms available, there has been no further intimation.
The hoteliers pointed out that they only had verbal discussions with the organisers and necessary formalities like payment of advance, confirmation of number of rooms required, dates of booking and other things needed to be chalked out.
In the absence of any official confirmation either from the National Games Organising Committee (NGOC) or the East Singhbhum district administration, most hotels have decided to give priority to their regular customers and not keep rooms blocked for Games guests.
“We want the National Games to be successful because it’s a matter of pride for us. But unless we get an official letter, we cannot be sure about anything. A number of issues need to be finalised first. We need to plan in detail, as we also have to cater to our regular guests,” said Prabhakar Singh, president of Jamshedpur Hoteliers’ Association.
“Formalities should be completed at the earliest. We cannot proceed on the basis of verbal commitments. We had submitted the details, but have not received any response from the organisers. Moreover, we cannot block our rooms if the flow of guests is good, as it will hurt business,” added Deepak Tonk of Hotel Nataraj in Bistupur.
“The response has been very poor from the administration’s side. Till today, we don’t know what to do. We know that the problem will arise at the eleventh hour with the deputy commissioner stepping in and pressure mounting on us from all quarters,” said another hotelier on condition of anonymity.
If hotels do give priority to their regular customers and do not keep rooms reserved for players and delegates during National Games, the organisers will land in a soup.
But NGOC officials are not worrying. According to them, accommodation for Games participants has been arranged at about 27 hotels, guest houses and clubs.
They added that the hoteliers had given them word that rooms would be provided for the visitors. The officials further said that the number of guests and participants might increase
“We have held talks with the hoteliers and they agreed to lend their rooms. They have made a commitment. But we will soon send formal letters of confirmation to them,” said Vijay Kumar Singh, the additional district magistrate (law and order) and nodal officer of the Games in the district.