Railways invites tenders for 'Railratna' budget hotels
New Delhi, Apr 2: Steaming ahead with its plans to foray into the booming hospitality sector, the Railways has invited tenders for constructing budget hotels, aptly named as 'Railratna', on its land to provide quality retiring rooms for frequent business travellers and other passengers.
In the first phase, tenders will be invited for constructing five budget hotels in Chandigarh, Madurai (Tamil Nadu), Sealdah (West Bengal) and Secunderabad and Hyderabad (both in Andhra Pradesh).
Mr Rakesh Saxena, Director (T&M), Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Development Corporation (IRCTC), a public sector undertaking of the Railway Ministry, told sources that the Railway Board had decided to construct a total of 40 budget hotels during the first phase.
About the tendering process, Mr Saxena said tender forms would be available from April 3 and these had to be submitted latest by April 27 (1200 hrs).
The IRCTC is the implementing agency of this project.
''Several private companies, including Indian Hotels Company, which runs the Taj Hotels Group, and the ITC-owned Welcome Group, have reacted positively to the Railway Ministry's plans for opening budget hotels,'' he said.
Asked whether Indian Hotels or the Welcome Group had been given any licence for setting up such hotels in any Indian city, he said it would be decided only after the tendering process was completed.
Mr Saxena said these hotels would have a minimum of 50 rooms.
''For setting up Railratna hotels, land measuring from 2400 to 3000 sqm will be provided. The room tariff is yet to be fixed but it will definitely be competitively priced,'' he informed.
Railratna hotels will have different kinds of room, but there will be no dormitories as in Rail Yatri Nivas or in the retiring rooms of stations.
As per tender documents, the Railways are to make available land while private companies will have the full responsbility of constructing and running the hotels. In lieu of investments, the companies will be entitled to pocket the entire revenue from their respective hotels for a period of 30 years.
The Railways are to get only rent for the land, which will be 10 per cent of the market rate for that piece of land. After 30 years, the private companies will forfeit their ownership of the hotels.