SHILLONG: 20th November 2021 (PTI Source)
The Crowborough hotel, which was first proposed in 1985, is now on the verge of completion and is proposed to be inaugurated in February 2021.
The Crowborough five-star hotel has been in the news for more than three decades, with numerous delays along its path.
"The project was first mooted in 1985 and for many reasons, it was stalled for years. However, now all that is history. We are very happy to state that the hotel will be inaugurated in February 2021," said an official source within MTDC.
The project which has come up at a cost of Rs 1.90 billion (21 crores), has been built and funded by MTDC.
MTDC has been tasked as the project owner as per a memorandum of understanding with the Union government, which was signed between MTDC and the Central Public Works Department on October 3, 2012, at Delhi.
In this regard, MTDC has already started its pre-construction exercise for this iconic hotel.
"The concerned staff has already undergone training in various parts of the world under MTDC's flagship programme 'Rising Khasis'," said an official within MTDC, adding that the state-of-the-art hotel will be one of its kind not only in the northeastern region but also for Meghalaya.
"The Crowborough Hotel will be part of the heritage hotel chain under MTDC's flagship programme 'Rising Khasis'. It is learnt that the five-star hotel will include a total of 128 rooms and suites.
"All 127 rooms and one presidential suite, spread across 10 floors, will have balconies," informed an official source within MTDC while adding that the hotel will also have conference halls, banquet halls and an international restaurant to offer.
"One major clearance was obtained on October 7, 2016, when the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) granted environmental clearance to MTDC for starting construction work on the hotel," said an official source within MTDC.
According to an estimate, it will be in operation for at least three years before any further expansion is made to the Crowborough Hotel.
"The hotel has been planned to be a world-class hotel and we can't expand further. However, we will see if we will make any changes after three years," added the official within MTDC.
According to an estimate, by 2022 Shillong is expected to have a staggering influx of close to one million tourists in a year.
"In 2021, when the All India Football Federation (AIFF) proposed to hold the second edition of its flagship Indian Super League here, we are expected to have close to one million tourists in Shillong alone. This is one of the reasons why an iconic hotel was needed."
"We are now waiting for the completion date of this project, which will be fixed soon. A lot of deadlines have been missed for this project and we hope that the government will accord priority to complete it at the earliest," said an official source within MTDC while adding that Meghalaya's image is all set to get a major boost soon.
"The hotel was taken up on lease by ITDP India Pvt Ltd, a firm floated by the Meghalaya government. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in three years' time," added an official source within MTDC.
The hotel, which will come up at Palace Road, Shillong, has strategic importance as it falls between the state secretariat and the IG Stadium.
"The location is also strategic as the hotel would provide tourists access to the Shillong city centre, which is just 5 km away. It will be on the route to all major tourist destinations in Meghalaya," said an official source while adding that apart from tourism, this iconic hotel will help boost the hospitality industry of the state.
"On completion, this project will generate employment to the local community. Moreover, travellers coming here for Shillong Premier League matches would also be able to stay in the hotel which was much needed currently," said an official source within MTDC while adding that one of the reasons why work on this iconic hotel has not started is because the state government did not sanction the required funds to ITDP India Pvt Ltd.
The first and fifth levels have been finished, but the remaining three floors of the structure will be finished by next month. The kitchen area's flooring and tiling are also finished, and the installation of kitchen equipment will begin next month, according to a spokesperson. Construction is now underway such as restaurants and reception. At the same time, furniture is being placed.
The Meghalaya government signed a six-year contract with the Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (Taj Vivanta) to run the five-star Crowborough hotel in 2019.
“The project is now in its final stages, and after the building is completed, it will be transferred to the Taj Group in January,” an official from the department said.
The hotel will have the capacity to employ up to 150 people.
The Crowborough Hotel, which is currently under construction, will have a variety of economy rooms, standard rooms, deluxe rooms, suites, banquet hall, and one coffee shop.