Luxury Legacy: U.P. gears up to transform heritage buildings into 5-star hotels; tender opening on Nov 7 - Hindustan Times
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Luxury Legacy: U.P. gears up to transform heritage buildings into 5-star hotels; tender opening on Nov 7

Nov 03, 2023 06:14 AM IST

The project, designed to invigorate tourism in the state capital and other regions of Uttar Pradesh, has garnered strong support from principal secretary of the tourism and culture department, Mukesh Meshram.

LUCKNOW The much-anticipated process of rekindling the grandeur of heritage buildings by converting them into five-star hotels has been set into motion by the Uttar Pradesh state government. In this endeavour, tenders for four captivating Nawab-era structures -- including Chattar Manzil, Roshan-Uddaula Kothi, Kothi Gulistan-e-Iram, and Kothi Darshan Vilas -- are scheduled to be unveiled on November 7. Furthermore, the state is preparing to initiate tenders for the transformation of Chunar Fort in Mirzapur, Barua Sagar Fort in Jhansi, Barsana Jal Mahal in Mathura, Shukla Talab in Kanpur Dehat, and Tikait Rai Baradari in Kanpur city into enchanting five-star heritage hotels.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath (HT File)
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath (HT File)

The project, designed to invigorate tourism in the state capital and other regions of Uttar Pradesh, has garnered strong support from principal secretary of the tourism and culture department, Mukesh Meshram. He said, “Prominent players in the country’s hotel industry have expressed their keen interest in managing these heritage sites within the state. Renowned groups such as Nirvana Hotels, Oberois, MRS Group, Leela Group, Mahindra Group, and Ramada Group have all shown enthusiasm in overseeing these unique heritage hotels.”

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The tender process aims to lease these heritage properties under the public-private partnership (PPP) model for a 30-year period, with the possibility of renewal for two terms, resulting in a maximum lease period of 90 years. The successful bidder will undertake the development of these heritage properties based on a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) framework.

Meshram outlined the selection criteria for the successful bidder, which will be determined by the Quality and Cost System (QCBS). In this system, technical factors will carry 80% of the weightage, while financial criteria will constitute the remaining 20%.

The final adaptive reusage of each heritage property will be contingent on a comprehensive techno-economic business plan submitted by bidders to the tender evaluation committee. This plan should advocate an economically viable proposal that justifies the property’s final purpose as a tourism unit.

Drawing inspiration from the success of Rajasthan, a state that has already converted over 200 heritage buildings into hotels, Uttar Pradesh aspires to replicate this model. Meshram emphasised, “Just as we’ve seen a successful model in Rajasthan, which allows only privately-owned historical buildings to be converted into hotels, the state government will convert government-owned historical structures into hotels under the public-private partnership model.”

Importantly, the operators will be expected to preserve the facades of these historic buildings, ensuring their authentic charm remains intact. Additionally, private investors will be responsible for financing the transformation of these monuments into true five-star establishments.

Meshram elaborated on the manifold advantages of this ambitious project, saying, “By transforming heritage buildings into hotels, the state government stands to gain numerous benefits. This initiative will generate substantial revenue for the state exchequer, create both direct and indirect employment opportunities through tourism-related activities, breathe new life into the tourism sector, and promote a wide array of products and services. Above all, it will position U.P. as a coveted destination for heritage and monument tourism within the country.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anupam Srivastava is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Lucknow. Has produced exclusive stories in medical, civil aviation, civic, political and other issues for over 20 years.

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