Oberoi group gets nod for tourist train project


Staff member

Chandigarh January 21:

The Punjab Government has given its approval to the Oberoi Hotels Group to be partners with the state in the luxury train project which had been approved by the Railway Ministry.

The Oberoi Group was the single bidder for the luxury tourists train project which would be started on the pattern of Palace on Wheels that cris crosses Rajasthan. For this project, Oberois would pay Rs 90 lakh per annum to the state. This decision was taken in a meeting of Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) here today. The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

In another decision the government has asked the Cultural Affairs and Tourism Department to expedite the conservation project of the prestigious historic Gobindgarh Fort at Amrtisar. The army has agreed to hand over the fort to the state government.

Presiding over another meeting to review the master plan of Gobindgarh Fort prepared by the Tourism Department, Principal Secretary Cultural Affairs and Tourism Geetika Kalha informed that the state government had already sent a proposal to the Centre and demanded Rs 50 crore for the entire project of Gobindgarh Fort.

Besides the Government had also demanded Rs 10 crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The entire conservation work would cost about Rs 25 crore which includes Rs 5.2 crore for the conservation of boundary walls of the fort, Rs 3 crore each for the four bastions, Rs 2.5 crore for darbar hall and remaining would be spent on the other buildings in the Fort.

Central circular buildings of the fort which is known as Dyer's bungalow would be restored as artifacts based museum. Apart from this two other museums would be developed to depict the history of Maharaha Ranjit Singh period, Anglo Sikh war and British period at the two bastions.

It was also informed in the meeting that a car parking would also be constructed outside the fort, whereas inside the fort a 20 room Heritage Hotel along with ten tent houses would also be developed. Darbar Hall would be developed as a restaurant and 'toshakhana' (treasury room) as a cafeteria. The Chief Minister also asked the Tourism Department to chalk out the possibilities to start boating in the moat around the Fort. He also directed the department to seek expert advice in this regard.