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Aerocity hotels in Delhi face hurdles

New Delhi, Nov. 21: The government’s insistence that hotels in Delhi aerocity must take stringent security measures has peeved the industry.

JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, which opened a hotel in the complex today, said the extra security measures had ratcheted up costs.

Several hotels in aerocity such as Lemon Tree, Holiday Inn and Red Fox have applied for security clearance for their launch and not received it yet, while some others had to hold up the opening of their hotels planned for the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Marriott cannot open 105 of its 523 rooms in the complex that face the runway. The hotelier is in the process of retrofitting the rooms to pass the security clearances from various agencies, including Delhi Police and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

“We faced a delay of eight-months as we had to fulfill the requirements of various agencies and get clearances. Our costs went up 20 per cent,” Sandeep Gupta, executive director Asian Hotels (West) Limited, said. Asian Hotels is the developer of the property, while Marriott International has the management contract.

“The perception of India is not positive and overseas investments are difficult to get as such controversies make it difficult for us to convince foreign investors to invest in India,” he said.

“As many as 105 rooms are in the process of getting a double layered glass coat to cut the view of the runway and to make it bullet resistant. We are fitting glass break alarms in the windows. It will take another 30-45 days to complete the whole process,” said Balan Paravantavida, general manager of JW Marriott Aerocity.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation has asked the hotels to bullet-proof the hotel’s windows, fearing they may be used for attacks on the airport.

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