Birsa Vihar Complex in Ranchi
Ranchi, Sept. 20: Minister Bimla Pradhan has promised to seek an explanation from Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC) on the status of state-owned Birsa Vihar Complex that is being run by a private company, which is not paying the requisite monthly fee of Rs 5 lakh.
“The case is clear and simple. If it is operational, under no circumstances can the department be robbed of its dues,” she said, promising to order a probe to get to the bottom of the controversy.
The state tourism minister said she was aware Bokaro-based Hans Regency had been chosen to operate the state-owned complex located on Ranchi’s Main Road, but she was unaware that it had started running the show even though it had not fulfilled some of the key conditions of the agreement it signed with the government.
“If the takeover is ‘off the record’, then it needs to be probed. I will seek an explanation from the MD of JTDC after I return from a tour the day after tomorrow,” she added.
The Telegraph reported today that according to a outsourcing agreement signed by JTDC with Hans Regency in January, the Bokaro-based hotel was supposed to maintain and operate the guest house for 16 years.
Before being handed over the property, that has undergone a few costly makeovers, Hans Regency was supposed to submit a detailed project report which was to be approved by the tourism department.
Hans Regency was yet to comply. It is not even paying JTDC the stipulated monthly fee of Rs 5 lakh. Yet, the complex is being run by the hotel since June, being let out regularly for wedding bashes and meetings.
JTDC MD Sunil Kumar said he was unaware of the development. He could not explain why the corporation wasn’t insisting on the fee from Hans Regency which has already run up dues of Rs 20 lakh.
The Bokaro-based hotel has claimed that it was running the tourist complex on trial. “We aren’t committing fraud. We are seeing if this hotel can be run or not,” said Birsa Vihar complex general manager Sanjay Singh.
Tourism secretary N.M. Kerketta couldn’t be reached. A JTDC board meeting, to be chaired by development commissioner Debashish Gupta, is scheduled tomorrow.