In a bid to place its showpiece Shamuka tourism project on the fast track, the Orissa government is expediting land acquisition process for this mega venture.
The state government, which acquired around 970 acres of land in the first phase for the Rs 3500-crore project, has now set in motion the process to acquire 626 acres of land for the project in the second phase.
The second phase land acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. The Shamuka tourism project needs 2500-3000 acres of land in all.
The project is being developed near Sipasarubali, about 10 km south of Puri on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
“About 90 per cent of the amount for acquisition of 626 acres of land has been deposited with the district collector of Puri. We hope that the process will be completed by the end of this year”, an official source told Business Standard.
After the second phase land acquisition, the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) will invite fresh bids for the project. This has been necessitated as the initial attempt to invite bids for the project received lukewarm response last year.
It may be noted that only three hotel chains had participated in the earlier bidding process for developing the four five star hotels on 100 acres of land. Owing to this lukewarm response to the bidding process, the Orissa government had decided to change the provisions in the bid document before going for the fresh bidding process.
The state government had engaged global consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to incorporate some new provisions in the bid document for the Shamuka tourism project so as to make it investor friendly.
PwC had submitted the revised bid document to the state government in October 2009 and it needed to be approved by the state government.
The state tourism department is planning to launch campaigns for the tourism project both within the country and in some select overseas destinations to attract the investors for the tourism project, the source added
The state government is investing Rs 50-70 crore on providing external infrastructure like electricity and water supply for the five-star hotel properties. Apart from the four five star hotels, the Shmauka tourism project would have facilities like 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.