News Date 10/13/2011
Subject IRCTC to set up budget hotels in northeast
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a mini-Ratna PSU, has decided to venture into the hotel sector for the first time in the northeastern region. IRCTC regional manager Kaushik Banerjee on Saturday said the company would start budget hotels as part of its tourism promotion activities in the state. He added that the IRCTC has sought land from the state government at Betkuchi, Kamakhya, Kaziranga and Sivsagar according to a report in TOI.

On Friday, the corporation had a meeting with state tourism department officials on providing land for the budget hotels. At the meet, state tourism secretary Dilip Kumar Baruah, principal secretary of tourism Himangshu Sekhar Das and IRCTC group general manager (east zone) Amlan Kumar Biswas were present. Banerjee said the outcome was positive and that the tourism department has shown interest in providing land at Betkuchi. "We are seeking 3,000 square meter of lands in these places. So far, the state tourism department has shown interest in providing land at Betkuchi. In each of these places, there will be 25 to 30 rooms with one restaurant each. The tariff will range between Rs 650 and 750," said Banerjee. The IRCTC has planned to set up hotels on "build operate and transfer" (BOT) basis. "Once the construction is done through tender process, the hotels will be handed over on long-term lease of 30 years," he added. The IRCTC also held discussions with the tourism department on using government-run resorts and lodges for promoting rail tour and holiday packages. "We had a meeting with state tourism director Monalisha Goswami on using state-run hotels, lodges and resorts for accommodation of IRCTC tourists. This arrangement was very well appreciated and soon we are going to sign an agreement like we had in West Bengal," said Banerjee. The IRCTC has planned to set up 50 tourism facilitation-cum-information centres (TFC) in major towns and railway stations across the state in the next six months. The TFCs would be a one-stop point for any tourism-related information and facilities. "We do have a TFC at Guwahati railway station. But we are going to remodel it and run in a more professional way," he added.

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