Surprise! Subrata Roy's Sahara group eyes Mumbai hotel

Sep 05 2014, 17:48 IST
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The Plaza Hotel, New York owned by Sahara Group. (Reuters) The Plaza Hotel, New York owned by Sahara Group. (Reuters)
SummarySahara India Tourism Development Corporation Limited was the only entity that sent its representative to the Mumbai Port Trust’s pre-bid meeting for the ‘flotel’ recently.

The Sahara group is a keen contender for Mumbai’s first floating hotel project, even as it is in the process of selling off its iconic hotels — Grosvenor House in London, Plaza Hotel and Dream House in New York — to secure the bail bond for the release of its chairman Subrata Roy.

Sahara India Tourism Development Corporation Limited was the only entity that sent its representative to the Mumbai Port Trust’s (MbPT) pre-bid meeting for the ‘flotel’ recently. The 500-odd room five-star flotel will be anchored 3 kms on the Arabian sea from the Gateway of India site in Mumbai.

Others present at the meeting were those interested in the proposed three floating restaurants. Officials state that these include Essel Group, Drishti Marine Solutions which runs the H2O water sports complex at Girgaum Chowpatty beach, Backbay cruises, the boating group Ocean Blue among others. Two others have also made their interest known to the port trust in writing, although they were not present at the pre-bid meeting.

These include Nishiland Water Park resort and Rashmi Developers. The latter has been keen on investing in a floating hotel since their first failed attempt more than 15 years ago at setting up a restaurant in Zheng Dong, a ship that was stranded off the Bandra coastline on its way to the ship-breaking yard at Alang in Gujarat.

Asked about the group’s involvement in the project, a Sahara group spokesperson said, “Sahara has always been involved in prestigious projects but it is too early to comment on this.” MbPT chairman RM Parmar confirmed that the Sahara group was among those who were present at the meeting. “Some of the big names from the industry have shown interest. We will know the list of final of bidders only once we start the sale of tender documents,” he said. Tenders for the projects are expected to be opened in another month.

The port trust has fixed the base price for the flotel at merely Rs 64 lakh per month. The structure will be allowed to occupy approximately 10,000 sq m of the water area which works to a tariff of Rs 640 per sq m per month. Another Rs 11 lakh has been fixed as charges for the use of landing and boarding point at Ferry Wharf, water conveyance charges and passenger fees. Similarly, for 2,000 sq m water area for the restaurants, the monthly base rental is Rs

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