Delhi ready with 55 percent rooms for Games


New Delhi: With the Commonwealth Games less than a year away, the tourism ministry has sought to speed up hotels and accommodation projects saying that around 55 percent of the rooms needed were ready.

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The tourism ministry is leaving no stone unturned to find rooms for the Commonwealth Games visitors. The progress made so far was reviewed at a meeting Wednesday chaired by Tourism Minister Kumari Selja and attended by Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee and representatives of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments.

The minister said that 30,000 additional hotel rooms were required in Delhi NCR for the Games and that “all hotel projects coming up for the Games should be ready and completed by June 2010”.

“Several units in the ‘likely’ category have been converted into ‘definite’ category. There are 10,268 rooms in the latter category and 1,757 rooms are available under the ‘likely’ category. Of these, 5,645 rooms have been completed and rest are in progress.

“In the last review meeting held in the first week of September, only 4,238 rooms were completed and now 1,407 additional hotel rooms have been completed. This comes to 55 percent of the total hotel rooms in the definite category,” an official statement from the ministry said.

In the meeting alternative accommodation was also discussed in detail and it was decided that 5,500 residential flats of Delhi Development Authority located at south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj and Jasola in south east would be furnished and operated by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) for the Games.

“They should be ready and handed over to ITDC in phases between January to May 2010 to enable timely furnishing of these flats,” the statement said.

The voluntary home stay scheme of the Delhi government targeting 3,000 bed and breakfast units has, meanwhile, roped in 1,534 units.

At the meeting, the authorities also took a call to cull out around 11,000 rooms in central Delhi by upgrading guest houses and revamping the surrounding areas. Funds have been sanctioned to the civic agency to improve the Paharganj and Karol Bagh areas by June 2010.

The ministry of youth affairs and sports proposed upgradation of 3,250 beds as additional accommodation at hostels of educational institutions in Delhi University where many Games events are scheduled.

The ministry statement also said that in the suburbs, too, talks are on with the Haryana government to “set up tented accommodation at the Surajkund and near Badkhal Lake”.