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Ministry of Tourism and Commonwealth Games, Delhi - 2010

Alok Deshwal**

The 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG-2010) are scheduled to be held in New Delhi, between 3 October and 14 October 2010. This would be the largest multi-sport event conducted in Delhi, which has previously hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The Commonwealth Games during 2006 in Melbourne had attracted 90,000 visitors and it is expected that more than one Lakh visitors would come to Commonwealth Games 2010. At present, there are only about 11,000 rooms in the star category hotels in the NCR. The Ministry of Tourism estimates that 30,000 additional hotel rooms would be required in the National Capital Region for Commonwealth Games 2010.

Accommodation for the visitors during the Commonwealth Games is on top priority agenda of the Ministry of Tourism. In order to meet the shortfall of accommodation the Ministry has been in regular touch with the ‘Land Owning Agencies’ in the National Capital Region of Delhi for creation of the additional hotel rooms. A Task Force has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Tourism, for monitoring the progress of the various agencies for creation of additional hotel accommodation in NCT of Delhi. These agencies include the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh & Haryana, the Ministries of Railways & Civil Aviation, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Delhi Airport International Limited (DIAL) etc. Regular meetings are held to review the progress. The last meeting was held on January 27, 2010 In addition, meetings to review and monitor the arrangements for the CWG-2010 are also being conducted regularly by the Committee of Secretaries(CoS), Group of Ministers (GoM), the Lt. Governor, Delhi, the Chief Minister of Delhi & the Minister of State (Sports).

To encourage the growth of new hotels, on the request of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Finance has given a five year tax holiday under Section 80-ID to 2, 3 and 4-star category hotels and convention centers which will be functional between April 1, 2007 to July 31, 2010 in National Capital Territory Region of Delhi and the Districts of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Gautam Budh Nagar (NOIDA) and Ghaziabad.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA)/Ministry of Urban Development had announced the increase in Floor Area Ratio (FAR) from 150 to 225 for hotels in Delhi excluding the hotels falling in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone etc. To provide additional rooms in existing and new hotels. Further, the Ministry of Tourism has advised all existing hotels to upgrade the hotels and be ready for the Games.

Due to the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, RBI has already de-linked credit for hotel projects from Commercial Real Estate (CRE) thereby enabling hotel projects to avail credit at relaxed norms and reduced interest rates. The External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) norms have been relaxed by the Finance Ministry to solve the problem of liquidity being faced by the hotel industry due to economic slowdown.

Additional Accommodation for the Games

For the purpose of augmentation of budget accommodation during the Games, a proposal is under consideration to use housing flats of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The DDA would construct these flats with richer specifications under various categories which are located at Vasant Kunj and Jasola. The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) would upgrade & furnish these flats and operate such units during the Games.

A substantial number of rooms of the Guest houses under the budget category would also be available in the National Capital Territory of Delhi for the Games. The Ministry of Tourism has got a survey done of the licenced Guest Houses along with Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi Police (Licensing) through the Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi in order to compile a data base of these units and to ascertain their standards of services and facilities. In order to be ready for the Games, the Tourism Ministry has initiated the training of the owners/management & staff of these identified guest houses to upgrade their standards and soft skills under the Scheme of Capacity Building of Service Providers (CBSP) through the IHM, Pusa, and New Delhi.

The Ministry of Tourism has launched the “Incredible India Bed and Breakfast/Home Stay Scheme” all over the country. Around 3,000 “Incredible India Bed and Breakfast/ Homestay” units are estimated to be ready and available for the Games. This scheme would provide the guest a unique and authentic Indian home stay experience. With a view to encourage the growth of such establishments and also to smoothen the procedure of approvals, the Ministry of Tourism has recently reviewed the scheme and has simplified the guidelines by amending certain norms.

Hotel Ashok, Samrat & Janpath under the ITDC have been declared as the official hotels for the games. While the Hotel Ashok and Hotel Samrat would be the Games Family Hotel, Hotel Janpath would be for the press and media. These hotels have undertaken a major renovation work to prepare them for the event.

Training Scheme

‘Earn While You Learn’ a short training scheme with the objective to sensitize youth, specific to tourism service has been introduced by the Ministry of Tourism. Youth trained under this scheme will also be utilized for the CWG 2010. The programme is a short term training programme of 21 days to encourage youth to work as student volunteers in tourism industry. The CWG-2010 would require an estimated 15,000 – 20,000 pool of trained and experienced volunteers. Volunteer Programme is being managed by the Organizing Committee, CWG-2010 along with different agencies and the Tourism Ministry has proposed to the Organizing Committee that training of some volunteers may be conducted under the ongoing scheme of the Ministry - Capacity Building For Service Providers. The Ministry, also proposes to utilize the students of Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa to augment the man power requirements during the Games. (PIB Features)

OVERALL ANTICIPATED AVAILIBILITY OF ROOM FOR CWG-2010

Definite rooms

(New Hotel Projects)

10,540

Rooms from DDA, Haryana, Gr. NOIDA, GDA etc

Likely Rooms

(New Hotel Projects)

624

50% of 1,248 Likely rooms from DDA, Haryana, Gr. NOIDA, DMRC etc

Guest Houses (Licensed)

11,912

Estimated rooms in Guest Houses as per review / grading of IHM, Pusa

Bed & Breakfast Establishments

3,000

Total of 1,669 rooms presently available in Delhi NCR ( Delhi-993; Gurgaon-362;Faridabad-04; NOIDA/GreaterNOIDA-299;Gaziabad-11)

Housing Units of DDA Rooms

5,500

3,179 LIG, MIG & HIG DDA Flats at Vasant Kunj and Jasola

Star category hotel rooms presently available in Delhi NCR

10,161

Grand Total

41,737

*Dy. Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, New Delhi

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