Centaur Hotel Srinagar rapidly deteriorating: Par panel

Centaur Hotel Srinagar rapidly deteriorating: Par panel

A Parliamentary committee has expressed concern over deteriorating condition of the Centaur hotel Srinagar, saying the mismanagement and lack of dedicated workforce has taken toll on it.

A Parliamentary committee has expressed concern over deteriorating condition of the Centaur hotel Srinagar, saying the mismanagement and lack of dedicated workforce has taken toll on it.

"The general mismanagement and lack of dedicated workforce have taken toll on the Hotel Corporation of India in general and Centaur Hotel, Srinagar, in particular," a report prepared by the parliamentary committee on petitions, reads.

After holding threadbare discussions with representatives of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India and Centaur hotel employees, the panel had come up with its report in the Parliament on August 11.

The 252-room hotel located on the banks of Dal lake is owned by the Hotel Corporation of India, a subsidiary of Air India.

Air India falls under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

According to the report, AI's failure to renovate and upgrade the prized property over the years has led to its rapid deterioration.  

"The representatives from Air India submitted that no renovation/upgradation work was carried out at Centaur Lake View Hotel, since its inception due to paucity of funds as well as continuing disturbance in the Valley. Due to this, there was rapid deterioration of the structure of the property, the plant and machinery. The kitchen equipment also became obsolete, coupled with shortage of skilled staff. All these factors contributed to huge financial loss," the report states.

The committee also expressed anguish over vacancies at different levels in the luxury hotel.

"The unfilled vacancies at the top level and at various other supervisory levels are causing lot of distress to the remaining workers of the Unit, thereby making the Company unprofitable and highly non-competitive in the market," the report reveals.

The panel has also slammed the government over the pattern of funding for renovation of the hotel. ". . . sanctioning funds in piecemeal is proving counterproductive; instead a one-time disbursement of funds should be made to completely renovate the hotel," the committee observed.

It also expressed concern over inordinate delay in wage revision of the hotel employees, saying "it is a matter of serious concern that almost 7 years have elapsed without justifiable wage revision."

The panel also recommended to AI to come up with some alternative plan in terms of infusing funds to renovate and refit the hotel so as to make it commercially viable.

In September 2010, BD and P Hotels (India) Private Limited, a subsidiary of Balwa's DB Realty group, had bagged 30-year management rights of the Centaur Hotel.  However, in February 2011, Jammu and Kashmir High Court stayed the deal after a group of lawyers filed a Public Interest Litigation.

The state government had opposed the deal as it wanted its Tourism Development Corporation to run the hotel.

After DB Realty chief Shahid Balwa got embroiled in the 2G scam, AI had cancelled the Centaur deal with him. 

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