New Delhi: There is uncertainty whether Tatas
will continue to run the Taj Mahal Hotel near India Gate with
the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) mulling the option
of inviting fresh bids for the property as the extended lease
for its use ends in October this year.
The civic body, which owns the property on Mansingh Road
where Taj Mahal Hotel is located, is roping in Infrastructure
Development Finance Company (IDFC) to prepare a roadmap for
deciding on how to utilise the property.
The Tata-owned Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) had
entered into a 33-year lease for using the property in 1978
which ended last October and was extended by another year. The
Tatas were expecting a lengthy period for lease.
An NDMC official said the Urban Development Ministry has
suggested that the civic body should go for open bids for the
property in which the Taj Hotel is located.
"The tendering process has not been started. It will
depend on the report by the consultant, suggestions by Urban
Development Ministry and legal advice. We hope to finish this
process by this year-end," the official said.
The official said the consultant will study the
possibility of a private-public partnership structure that
would optimise revenues for the NDMC. It will also help the
civic body in evaluating the property`s cost.
On the extension of the lease by one year, the official
said it was decided to do so as the process for an open bid
would have taken time.
The NDMC had earlier initiated the process of renewing
the lease for a longer period but had to abort it as the
Ministry suggested it to go for an open bid.