Small hotels rake it in as AAP volunteers converge in Delhi

Budget hotels in the national capital are witnessing at least 200 per cent hike in their room tariff ahead of swearing-in of AAP government tomorrow as scores of party volunteers from across the country are pouring in here to witness the event.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 13, 2015, 18:06 PM IST

New Delhi: Budget hotels in the national capital are witnessing at least 200 per cent hike in their room tariff ahead of swearing-in of AAP government tomorrow as scores of party volunteers from across the country are pouring in here to witness the event.

Room rates of budget and mid-budget hotels which range between Rs 500-Rs 1200 in areas like Paharganj and Karol Bagh- preferred destination for tourists coming to the city -have gone up to Rs 2,500 in the past two days.

"This is an off season for tourists mainly because children have exams this time, so the room rates range between Rs 500-700, but in the last two days with a sudden rise in visitors, mainly to attend Kejriwal's swearing-in ceremony, the room rates have gone up," said Ramesh Singh, manager of a hotel in Paharganj.

"In my hotel there are twelve rooms. None of them are empty now. The last room whose basic rate was Rs 700, I have rented it out for Rs 1,500," said a smiling Ramesh.

Echoing him, a hotel owner in Karol Bagh said, "Till now I have two rooms left which I don't think will last till the evening when the rest of the Delhi bound trains reach the city. I won't rent them below Rs 1,600."

According to AAP, the party has not made any arrangements for outstation volunteers who are coming to the city to attend the oath taking ceremony of the new CM and has asked them to make their own arrangements.

"We are not registering outstation volunteers who are coming to the city to attend the historic ceremony, so it is very difficult for us to tell the exact number of people that will be coming. But we expect that around 20,000 people will come from across the country," said a senior AAP member at its Patel Nagar office.

Agents employed by hotels to break deal with customers outside New Delhi railway station are also making a quick fortune in this benison.

Though no one was ready to speak, but a number of them agreed that the money earned will sustain them at least for a month without work.

Several party volunteers were also seen going from one hotel to another looking in vain to find a proper room and finally approaching AAP office for help.

Ram Murty Verma, a doctor by profession who had come from Mumbai by Rajdhani Express, in the morning faced a similar situation and finally reached the party's office.

"I went to almost all the hotels in Karol Bagh and also to few others in Paharganj, but not a single room was available. Some hotels are either completely booked or they are asking too much for a small room," he said.

Hotel owners said the situation is likely to continue till the mid of next week as the people coming in now may stay for two-three days more to visit some tourist places in and around the city.

"I have already got requisition from two-three of my boarders to arrange for cars either to Agra or for a trip to popular places in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday," said manager of a budget hotel in Paharganj.

Meanwhile, around one lakh people are expected to be present at the Ramlila Ground to attend the oath taking ceremony of AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet.