Post Fani: Odisha babus lodge in five star hotels

Cyclone Fani affected people wait to receive relief material being distributed by the Odisha government, in Bhubaneswar, Saturday, May 11, 2019. (PTI Photo)

With no electricity, no water and crumbled communication facilities, life turned hell for majority of the residents of Bhubaneswar soon after the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani left the state ravaging.

But life is as comfortable as before it was for a large number of babus and other wealthy VIPs, thanks to the five star and other luxurious hotels in the city.

Used to the comfort of air-conditioned rooms and other luxuries at home, the post-Fani crisis prompted many VIPs like officials and bureaucrats, businessmen and senior executives of private firms to rush to five star hotels along with their family members much to the delight of the hotel managers.

“It was certainly a pleasant surprise for us. We never expected our rooms to go full during such a crisis period”, said the manager of a luxurious hotel in the city who did not want to be named. The hotels are providing all comforts to their guests with the help of huge in house generator sets.

What surprised the staff members of many hotels was the officials and other VIPs’ willingness to pay cash for their luxurious stay. “As the net services is completely collapsed and acceptance of credit and debit cards was not possible, we told them we will accept only cash. And surprisingly all of them were prepared to square up all their bills in cash. It seemed they had parked huge amount of cash in their homes instead of banks”, said the manager of another hotel.

There were also instances of VIPs approaching hotels to pay double the fare of a room if an air-conditioned one is made available to them. “The rush was so much that there was a demand-supply mismatch”, said the manager of a mid-size hotel.

However, during private conversations, several officials defended the trend. “Tell me who will not want to give some comfort to his or her family members at the time of such crisis. What is wrong in shifting to a luxury hotel if one can afford it”, said a senior bureaucrat.                    

                          

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