Of the 55 properties for which proposals were invited, only 20 parties showed interest. The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board (CTB) had been maintaining properties at different picturesque and tourist destinations across the state. But for the tourists, it remained least preferred property.
“In one of the resorts of CTB in Kawardha district, the guests had to search for the caretaker to get the main gate of the hotel open,” said one of the tour operators. Ironically, the receptionist was also the cook of the hotel, he added.
Bishwajit Chakraborty, a leading tour operator in the capital city, said the poor maintenance and inadequate infrastructure had been the main reasons why operators were not suggesting guests to stay in CTB properties. “Location is not an issue, it is only the service that is keeping tourists away,” he added.
The CTB’s efforts to at least maintain the properties by handing it over to private parties had also run into troubled water. “Despite the CTB had been struggling to find a buyer, it had kept the rate very high for the properties that lacked even basic infrastructure,” a hotel owner said. He did not bid after going through the tender documents.
The board received 20 proposals of which only 15 were approved after scrutiny. The dilly-dally attitude of the officials, who refused to comment, had further delayed the process. For the last couple of months, the board failed to take decision and ink agreement with the private parties.
Now with the model code of conduct coming into effect in wake of ensuing general elections, the proposal of privatization was likely to remain under cold carpet for another couple of months. A senior CTB official said soon after the elections, the agreement would be signed with private parties.