Taj Mansingh's lease extended by another year

Taj Mansingh's lease extended by another year

The Tata-owned Indian Hotels Company (IHC) will continue to operate the iconic five-star hotel in Lutyen’s Delhi, Taj Mansingh, as the NDMC council on Thursday extended the lease of the prime property by an year.

 The extended lease of the hotel, located on Man Singh Road, was to expire on October 10. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Thursday passed a proposal to extend its lease for another year within which the civic body would conduct open auctioning of the prime property.

The civic agency will continue to get the current 17.5 per cent share in the earnings from the hotel.

The NDMC has also decided that IHC will enjoy the first right of refusal, which means that it will carry on the operation of the hotel if it matches the highest bid.

Contrary to the legal opinion given to NDMC by the Additional Solicitor General of India R K Khanna, the NDMC decided to follow the recommendation of Ernst and Young — the consultant that was hired to come up with a report on the future of the hotel after the expiry of the lease.

Khanna had advocated public auction of Taj Mansingh.

The meeting was attended by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, NDMC chairperson Archana Arora and other senior officials.

Extended second time

The IHC had entered into a 33-year lease for using the property in 1978 which ended in October 2011. It was extended by another year till October 10 this year.

However, the decision taken on Thursday was opposed by BJP legislator Karan Singh Tanwar, a member of the council, who said if open bidding was to be done, the council could have extended the lease for two months only. 

“NDMC completely ignored the recommendations of Khanna who had said that there should be no more negotiations between the civic body and IHC,” Tanwar said.

Demanding a CBI probe, he alleged that NDMC had enough time to hold a bidding in the last one year but it chose to delay the project in order to benefit the Tata Group.