Railways cancel budget hotel project for now

News, Front of House

An ambitious railway project to build about 100 budget hotels across the country, at an estimated cost of about Rs 20,000 crore, has been shelved at least for the time being.

This project was initially conceptualized by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to promote tourism in the country, besides utilizing the surplus land of the railways for commercial purposes.

The recent decision of railway ministry to strip the IRCTC of all its major responsibilities is likely to throw a spanner on this ambitious project. Out of these proposed budget hotels, three were proposed to be built in Bihar — at Patna, Gaya and Rajgir.

According to an IRCTC official, the railway ministry recently asked the Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA) to explore the feasibility of building budget hotels on the surplus land of the railways across the country. During the past two years, the RLDA has made no progress in this connection, he said, adding this ambitious IRCTC project is bound to die its natural death for want of support from the railway ministry.

Each budget hotel was to be built in about 2,000 square metres areas having at least 100 rooms.
According to sources, the IRCTC had planned to build budget hotels in all four metros, besides other cities, including Varanasi, Ajmer, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Allahabad, Darjeeling, Lucknow, Mysore, Ooty, Puri, Amritsar, Shimla, Ujjain and Udaipur. These places were selected keeping in mind huge influx of tourists, sources said.

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