(Eds: Updating with more info, quote from IHCL) New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) The Tata group retained the iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel in Lutyens’ Delhi in an auction by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Friday after years of litigation, an official said. Also Read - Photos of Blue, Clear and Breathtaking Yamuna River Amid Coronavirus Lockdown go Viral
The fiercely fought auction with rival group ITC, also bidding for the hotel, began 11 am and ended 4 pm. Also Read - Shah Jahan Urs Called Off This Year as Taj Mahal Closes Amid COVID-19 Scare
The auction was pending since the lease had expired in 2011 and the Tata’s were operating the property on temporary extensions. Also Read - Delhi Police Arrests PFI Member for Spreading ‘False Propaganda’ During Anti-CAA Protests
The lease for the hotel will be granted to the group for 33 years at double the license fees.
“The Tata group’s Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has retained the property at a license fees of Rs 7.03 crore per month including GST or 32.50 per cent of the gross turnover of the property. Earlier, they were paying Rs 3.94 crore per month as license fees,” a senior NDMC official told PTI. Failing to auction the luxury hotel in two attempts, the NDMC had last month decided to relax the eligibility criteria for bidders and reduce the minimum number of bids required.
The auction had to be put off twice as it got less than the required number of bids for the five-star property to go under the hammer.
Earlier, the civic body had issued an annulment notice for the e-auction in June when it had to be cancelled as only IHCL — the existing operator — had submitted its bid for retaining the property.
The Taj Mansingh was given to the Tata group in 1978 on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The company was since given nine temporary extensions.
However, the civic body could not auction the property then as it was tied up in a legal battle with the IHCL.
“We are delighted that the iconic Taj Mahal, New Delhi which has been an important part of the cultural and historic fabric of the national capital, will continue to remain a part of the IHCL family,” Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer, IHCL, said.
“We would like to thank our customers for their enthusiastic support and our employees, who have always offered exceptional service to our guests for over 40 years.
“We look forward to investing in the hotel and taking it to new heights of Indian hospitality. The Taj legend will continue to serve Delhi with elegance and charm,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.