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Hotels sit on parking order

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 30: The institutional parking directive by the corporation to hotels across the city remained partly successful with six major hotels yet to respond to the proposal.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s directive states that the hotels are to pay fee to the civic body according to the use of the government land near their premises.

However, some hotels have already responded to the corporation’s proposal. While Hotel New Marrion has deposited Rs 3.04 lakh as fees for institutional parking near its premises, Mayfair Lagoon has agreed to deposit Rs 1.53 lakh and Royal Midtown and Empires Rs 40,150 as the institutional parking charges per year.

The corporation’s project officer for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission Srimant Mishra said: “The four major hotels have agreed to pay us the parking fees for the use of land near their hotels. In case of Hotel Hindustan International, the parking lot was auctioned for Rs 1.53 lakh last week.” However, six hotels — The Crown, Swosti Premium, Sandy Towers, Suryansh, Presidency and Keshari — have not yet responded to the directive, said Mishra.

Sources said the members of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha had discussed the matter at a meeting with government officials. “The civic authorities are not yet sure about the ownership of many parking lots as they do not know whether the land belongs to the general administration department, municipal corporation or the National Highways Authority of India. First, they should have a clarity over the ownership of the land and the type of parking,” said an association office-bearer.

“Parking is always under the civic body’s domain. Therefore, it’s not the hotel association’s look out whether the land belongs to the general administration department or the corporation,” said Mishra.

The corporation had written to all leading hotels in the city in the second week in August last to get them registered for the parking fees. The civic authorities had asked the hotels to go for institutional parking and pay fees to the civic body. Otherwise, the civic body will have to auction the land and go for tendering process to collect parking fees through vendors.

“Various welfare activities and amenities are created in the city with government funding and from tax payers’ money. We can increase our financial status to some extent by collecting institutional parking fees from the hotels as they have large areas near their institutions as parking,” said a senior corporation official.

Leading hospitality entrepreneur Debashish Patnaik of The Hotel Crown said: “According to the city’s master plan, there is a specific parking area near the Nayapalli District Centre in front of the Nabard office, but the city administration has failed to clear it from encroachment.” Patnaik said there was no specific demarcation to know up to which area vehicle parking was restricted to the visitors coming to the hotel. Others visiting the area from Vishal Mega Mart till Allahabad Bank’s regional office are using the stretch for parking their vehicles, he said.

Alim of Presidency Hotel said: “We are parking vehicles on our private land.”