Some six months after the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had given a go-ahead for auctioning the hotels, the civiv body has finally decided to invite bids for e-auction of three Lutyen's zone hotels, including the iconic Taj Mansingh.
During the council meeting on Wednesday presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the decision was taken to float tenders for the auction within this very month.
"The proposal of conducting auctions of the three hotels was discussed in detail today. It was decided that the tender process will be initiated within this month. The e-auction will be conducted through MSTC Ltd, a central PSU, and SBI Capital Market Limited will be the transaction advisor for the auction," a senior NDMC official said.
Following a legal battle spanning over six years, the NDMC Council had given a go-ahead to an auction of the Taj Mansingh in March. However, it took the civic body some six months to work out terms for the auction.
Taj Mansingh was given to Tata Group's Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The company was then given nine temporary extensions. Once the NDMC decided to auction the property, the IHCL approached the Delhi High Court. The company's plea was dismissed in October 2016 and the court allowed the civic body to auction the property.
In November 2016, the IHCL moved the Supreme Court with the argument that there was no need to auction the hotel as it was generating good revenue for the civic body. The apex court asked the NDMC to review its decision, but the civic body decided to go ahead with auction.
The NDMC has also decided to auction Hotel Connaught and re-auction Asian Hotel after they were sealed by it in 2015 due to non-payment of license fees dues.
In January, the Asian Hotel was e-auctioned fetching Rs 45.5 lakh per month as the licence fee, the highest-ever for the agency. But, the bidder later refused to take the property necessitating a re-auction.