ITC formally takes over Nedou’s hotel; Chief Minister welcomes alliance

SRINAGAR: Nedou’s hotel at M A Road here was formally taken over by India’s leading five-star hotel chain ITC Limited on Monday, with the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed inaugurating its renovation.
The 140-room heritage property constructed in pre-partition era was occupied by troops in ‘90s; its one block is still occupied by the paramilitary CRPF.
Once renovated by ITC, the hotel will be a five-star facility with 114 rooms and more than 25 luxury suites. ITC will be responsible for operating and managing the hotel.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Mufti called for partnerships between tourism players within and outside the state in order to build the quality accommodations for the tourists visiting the Valley.
Sayeed said his government will provide single window clearance to those who want to “add this much needed space” to the tourism sector.
“We need to create space here for high-end and middle-class tourists, because the figures suggest that we don’t have enough space to fully tap the tourism potential,” he said, welcoming the takeover of Nedou’s hotel by ITC.
“Our total accommodation for all categories of tourists is only of 37,000 rooms. We will have to add to this significantly if we have to tap the tourism potential,” he said, admitting that this year was lean for tourism sector.
To enhance the accommodation facilities for tourists, the government, he said, has come up with a master plan for Pahalgam, while a similar move would follow for Srinagar and Gulmarg also.
He asked ITC to retain the heritage character of Nedou’s hotel.
He, however, said the companies, which enter into alliance with local players, should always give preference to employing locals.
Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited, said the company would work on enhancing the tourism landscape of the state. Besides, he said, it would aid the government in economic growth and employment generation in the region.
The company, he said, proposes to contribute to creating sustainable livelihood for over 2, 00,000 people in the state.
“We would establish a food factory and set up a retail chain here for creation of employment opportunities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ITC group also entered into a MoU with Mushtaq Ahmad Burza-led Ahad Group of Hotel & Resorts.
Managing Director of Ahad Group of Hotel & Resorts, Asif Burza, signed the MoU.
Under the MoU, ITC would manage Heevan Resorts in Srinagar and Hotel Pine & Peaks at Pahalgam.