Center Seeks To Sell Ashok Hotel As Part Of Asset Monetization Program

The Center plans to hand over the iconic Ashok Hotel in Delhi to the private sector under a 60-year contract as part of its asset monetization program. It will further offer plots of land within the 21.5-acre complex for the establishment of a hotel or serviced apartments, among other development work.

Two plots of land are to be offered over a longer license term of up to 90 years, sources familiar to TOI have told, adding that the plan is expected to be approved by the cabinet shortly. It is unlikely that the entire transaction will be finalized in the current fiscal year.

This plot includes 6.3 acres of land, classified as wasteland, suitable for the development of serviced apartments or a hotel and construction is proposed on the British High Commission side. Another 1.8 acre lot is proposed for commercial development with a higher ground area ratio (FAR).

The remaining land can be offered to potential bidders and can be part of the main hotel complex – a benefit to the entity signing the deal. The successful bidder may choose a complete renovation, but will not be permitted to make any changes to the exterior of the property.

Like other PPP projects, the land will revert to the government when the permit expires.

An analysis by the Ministry of Tourism suggests that there is vast business and income potential that has remained untapped. The hotel was included in the asset monetization program as its performance remained below par when compared to other five-star properties in the Lutyens area.

The hotel will be offered under the operate-maintain-develop model.

Several attempts have been made in the past to sell the iconic hotel, but had to be scrapped due to a range of factors such as labor issues, dues and past contracts.

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