The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to invite bids for e-auction of three Lutyen’s zone hotels, including the iconic Taj Mansingh, nearly six months after the civic body had given a go-ahead for its auction. A decision to float tenders for the auction within this month was taken at a council meeting presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “The proposal of conducting auctions of the three hotels was discussed in detail. It was decided that the tender process will be initiated within this month. The e-auction will be conducted through MSTC, a central PSU, and SBI Capital Market will be the transaction advisor for the auction,” a senior NDMC official said.
Following a legal battle lasting over six years, the NDMC Council had given a go-ahead to an auction of the Taj Mansingh in March. However, modalities for the auction were still being worked out. The property was given to Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The company was since given nine temporary extensions. After the NDMC decided to auction the property, the IHCL approached the Delhi High Court. The company’s plea was dismissed in October 2016 and the court allowed the civic body to auction the property.
In November 2016, the IHCL moved the Supreme Court saying there was no need to auction the hotel as it was generating good revenue for the civic body. The apex court asked the NDMC to review its decision. But the civic body decided to go ahead. The NDMC has also decided to auction Hotel Connaught and re-auction Asian Hotel, after they were sealed by it in 2015 due to non-payment of license fees dues. In January, the Asian Hotel was e-auctioned fetching INR 45.5 lakh per month as licence fee, the highest-ever for the agency. But, the bidder later refused to take the property necessitating a re-auction.