The Telegraph
Thursday , April 25 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Govt spins Rajgir 5-star dream

The five-star hotel dream in the state tourist hubs has once again gained steam. If the plan of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) materialises, Rajgir would have a class hospitality address.

Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) — an undertaking of the state tourism department — is mulling over developing the proposed hotel near the newly developed International Convention Centre at Rajgir in Nalanda — the home turf of chief minister Nitish Kumar.

A source in the BSTDC claimed that the proposed hotel would be developed over an area measuring 1.5 acres between the corporation’s existing two-star hotel Tathagat Vihar and International Convention Centre at Rajgir. The proposed facility is supposed to have around 300 rooms with all prevailing modern facilities in the hospitality sector. Experts claimed that the project cost of the proposed hotel would be over Rs 100 crore.

The basic idea behind the proposed hotel is to support the clientele at the International Convention Centre as the adjoining Tathagat Vihar has only 35 rooms.

Top-notch hospitality sector players are slated to meet Nitish and tourism minister Sunil Kumar in Rajgir this month. Sunil told The Telegraph on Wednesday: “We have invited leading hotel groups from across the country for a meeting with the chief minister on April 29 at Rajgir. They have been asked to present their proposals for development of the proposed hotel. Based on the interaction with the chief minister, the process of preparing the detailed project report for the proposed hotel would be initiated.”Another source in the BSTDC, however, claimed that the corporation might develop the proposed five-star hotel at Rajgir by using its own resources and a private firm would look after its operation.

“To promote development in the hospitality sector, the corporation is contemplating to acquire the land and develop the proposed hotel by itself. In such a case, its operation and maintenance would be managed by a private player,” said a senior officer of the BSTDC.

The state government virtually owns the land earmarked for the hotel because it belongs to Rajgir Development Authority but Sunil remained non-committal on its free transfer if a private player is selected for developing the proposed hotel.

“We are looking forward to hear from the investors on contributing towards the acquisition of the land from the district administration for developing the proposed hotel,” he said.

Lack of quality hotels has hit tourism big time in the state. In 2012, as many as 10.97 lakh foreign tourists came to Bihar. It, however, did not help much in generating revenue because of the absence of class hospitality address.

Patna may see two five-star hotels by the end of this year. La Panache at south Gandhi Maidan would be the first five-star hotel in the city. It is likely to be opened by October this year. Allan Christopher, the chief executive officer of La Panache, said the hotel would have 70 rooms.

Meridian Buddha behind Buddha Smriti Park near Patna Junction is likely to be launched by the end of this year. Narendra Kumar, the director of Meridian Buddha, said the hotel would have 79 rooms.

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