The Orissa tourism department is likely to review the status of its showpiece Samuka tourism project in the first week of June this year. The Samuka tourism project is being developed on an area of about 1,000 acres on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode at an investment of Rs 3,500 crore.
Sources said the state tourism department in its review meeting scheduled for the first week of June was to decide on the timeline for inviting fresh bids for four five-star hotel properties to be developed as a part of the project.
It may be noted that the state government had decided to invite fresh bids for four five-star hotels, to come up on 100 acres of land, by the end of March this year. However, this could not be done due to Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
The state government had to go for the fresh bidding process for the Samuka project as it had received a lukewarm response to the bids earlier. Only three hotel chains had participated in the final bidding process.
Eleven bidders were shortlisted in the pre-bidding process held in September last year. The shortlisted players include both individual as well as joint bidders like Taj Group of Hotels and Resorts, ITC, Park Hotels, Ananda Spa, Emaar MGF with Hyatt, DLF with Hilton, Unitech with Starhood and Zoom Developers with Kamat hotels.
The state government was to invest Rs 50-70 crore on developing external infrastructure like roads, electricity and water supply for the Samuka tourism project.
A decision was taken just before the elections that the concerned departments of the state government like water resources, urban development and energy were to have separate budget heads for investing on the external infrastructure for the project, sources added.
The Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) had acquired land for the Samuka project and the land was to be transferred to the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC).
The state government was also to set in motion the bidding process for selecting a master developer for the Samuka tourism project. The master developer was to develop the infrastructure on the remaining 900 acres of land at the site of the project, near Sipasarubali, about 10 km south of Puri.
The facilities to be developed by the master developer include a convention centre of international standards with a seating capacity of nearly 1,500, an 18-hole golf course, boutique hotels, international spa and wellness centres, an entertainment zone and sports facilities.
The selected developer was to develop, design and operate these facilities at the site of the Samuka tourism project. The master developer was to generate revenues either by selling or renting out these facilities.