Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the GMR Group-led consortium mandated to upgrade the capital's Indira Gandhi International Airport, has given the rights to five companies to develop six hotels in the much-delayed hospitality district around the airport.
The companies that have won the contracts for building the hotels are Accor, InterGlobe Hotels, Lemon Tree, Bird Group and Hyatt, GMR said in a statement. The hotels would be the 3-5 star range, with a total capacity of 2,000 rooms.
"As part of the development of hotels, the developers will offer service facilities like convention centres, restaurants and commercial plazas within the hotel premises to meet the requirements of passengers and airlines,'' the statement said.
The five developers were selected after technical and financial evaluation of all 60 bids received by DIAL, and then approved by the board of directors, based on the best commercial valuation levels offered by the bidders, according to the statement.
GMR holds a 50.1-per cent stake in the joint venture. Other partners in the DIAL the consortium are Airports Authority of India, Fraport, Malaysian Airport and India Development Fund.
In all, DIAL has been able to lease out 17 acres out of the 45 acres allotted to it by the government. The land lease bid, when first proposed in May 2007, ran into controversy, as DIAL proposed a plan that would have seen it raising at least Rs2,835 crore in refundable deposits for 28 years.
But after this plan was resisted by the government, the airport operator came up with a revised plan that saw it dividing the 45 acres into 13 parcels ranging from 1.6 acres to 7.7 acres.
Well behind schedule
A recent report by the Parliamentary standing committee on 'Development of tourism infrastructure and amenities for 2010 Commonwealth Games' has said that only 500 rooms out of an earlier projected availability of 3,000 rooms were expected from DIAL in time for the mega-event.
While the bidding process on 13 plots was given a go-ahead late last year, bids on only six plots have been evaluated and awarded so far. The successful bidders are now likely to develop a mix of super-luxury and budget hotels in the airport hospitality district, also known as the 'aerocity project'.
The plummeting real estate sector and poor tourism outlook gave a blow to DIAL's plan to raise about Rs2,800 crore from the hospitality district to part-finance the Rs 9,000-crore Delhi airport development project. In fact, fearing that this shortfall could affect timely completion of Delhi airport, the government allowed DIAL to charge airport development fee from departing passengers that would help it raise Rs 1,800 crore over next three years.