Pahalgam Club, JKTDC Huts At Patnitop Among 12 Assets Being Outsourced: Report

SRINAGAR: Pahalgam Club, Ashoka Hotel at Jammu and huts of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) at Patnitop are among 12 assets in the Union Territory which have been identified for outsourcing and entire exercise will be completed by middle of next year while as more such properties will be identified in the Phase-II, reported Daily Excelsior.

According report published in Daily Excelsior reported that this information has been provided by the Tourism Department to the Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs Ashutosh Agnihotri, who chaired a meeting at Golf Course Jammu yesterday to review the progress on the decision about outsourcing of tourism assets in the Union Territory.

The meeting was attended by the Director Tourism Jammu, the Director Tourism Kashmir, Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Pahalgam Development Authority, Gulmarg Development Authority and Patnitop Development Authority.

Quoting official sources newspaper Daily Excelsior reported that the Union Joint Secretary was apprised that a total of 12 assets—9 in Jammu and 3 in Kashmir have been identified for outsourcing as per the decision taken by the Government of Union Territory last year. The three assets in Kashmir are—Pahalgam Club being run by JKTDC, a hotel at Gulmarg being managed by Gulmarg Development Authority and Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC). Similarly, among the 9 assets in Jammu are huts of JKTDC at Patnitop and Kud and Ashoka Hotel at Jammu.

The Joint Secretary was further informed that as suggested by the Transaction Advisor a decision has been taken to invite single tender for all these 12 assets. However, the Joint Secretary conveyed different opinion to the officers and accordingly sought report of the Transaction Advisor, sources informed, adding “the Joint Secretary is of the opinion that there may be little response to single tender for all these assets and floating different tenders would be most viable option. However, exact decision will be taken after examination of Transaction Advisor report”.

The officers of the Tourism Department conveyed to the Joint Secretary MHA that Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has planned to complete the exercise of outsourcing of these assets by middle of next year and thereafter steps will be initiated to identify more such properties.

According to the sources, majority of the assets of the Tourism Department and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation are not yielding the desired revenue because of varied reasons.

“The present revenue being generated by the assets of these organizations is not sufficient even for their routine maintenance and complaints about poor facilities at these assets generally pour in from the tourists whenever they avail these facilities”, they said, adding “moreover, neither the Tourism Department nor the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation have sufficient manpower for proper upkeep and maintenance of their assets as a result of which their condition is deteriorating with every passing year”.

Keeping these aspects in mind, the Government last year decided to outsource majority of the assets so that sufficient revenue could be generated and properties are well maintained. Accordingly, directions were issued for identifying the assets which can be outsourced immediately.

Moreover, Government vide order dated December 9, 2021 constituted a committee comprising two Additional Chief Secretaries and Administrative Secretaries of four departments for deciding mechanism of outsourcing the assets of the Tourism Department.

The mandate of the committee is to select the properties from the identified list to be outsourced, identify the model for each property or group of assets for outsourcing, fix and approve minimum bid amount for each property to be outsourced, fix and approve the time period for outsourcing of the selected properties, to approve the RPF/bid document to be prepared by the consultancy firm for outsourcing and to deliberate and make decision on any other issue related to outsourcing of the properties.

“The outsourcing of the assets will go a long way in their maintenance as well as generation of revenue as Government doesn’t have sufficient resources for this task,” sources said, adding “such an attempt was also made in.

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