GUWAHATI, Aug 22 - The Circuit House and Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok will be merged together for a grand State guest house cum convention centre to be set up at the location, which according to the government, would be a one-stop centre for government programmes and accommodation of State guests.
The proposed convention centre would be a comprehensive project, planned in the lines of the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. It will function as a venue for most of the important events in the city, apart from serving as a State guest house.
It may be noted that the two State guest houses � one built on the Koinadhara Hills and the other near the Raj Bhawan � in Guwahati are at present occupied by former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the present Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, leaving the State in need of a facility for accommodation of the State guests.
The hotel, established in 1987, was handed over to the Government of Assam as the Union government approved disinvestment of hotels and properties of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which was running Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok in Assam. Subsequently, the Assam Tourism Development Corporation was given the responsibility of running the facility from July this year.
The decision for disinvestment was taken on the ground that managing hotels in professional lines is not the work of the government or its entities.
�That running hotels is not a viable venture for government-run agencies, has been proven again and again across the country. Brahmaputra Ashok also, under its previous management, was incurring losses to the tune of Rs 15 lakh per month,� said ATDC Chairman Jayanta Malla Barua.
According to sources, the project would be designed in a state-of-the-art manner, offering five star facility as well as huge spaces for holding conventions, conferences, etc. �The State government has decided to complete the project on a priority basis and the consultants would assess the location and suggest options, once the hotel is vacated from next month,� the sources added.
Both the Circuit House and the hotel are located on the picturesque bank of the River Brahmaputra.
�As the State government already has a plan for developing the riverfront in the �Smart City� project, it would also take care of the stretch of the riverbank on the site of the proposed convention centre,� the sources added.
On the other hand, keeping in mind the discontentment among the contractual employees of Brahmaputra Ashok, the ATDC has taken an initiative to rehabilitate them within September this year.
�Though they are not government employees, we have consulted the hoteliers� association and the managements of Taj Vivanta and Radisson Blu on their behalf on humanitarian grounds. The association is ready to accommodate those employees who are below 40 years of age. As most of the contractual employees of Brahmaputra Ashok fall within that category, we will collect their details and would give them to the association. In all probability, the employees would be absorbed within next month,� the ATDC Chairman said.