Kerala capital to get Rs.8.05 billion convention centre

June 2nd, 2008 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 2 (IANS) An international convention centre will be set up here by the Kerala government in collaboration with Mumbai-based Chalet Hotels at a cost of Rs.8.05 billion, an official said Monday. The foundation stone for the centre, in which the government will have a 26 percent share, would be laid Wednesday by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

“The centre will come up in two phases. The first phase would cost Rs.2.05 billion and would be ready by January 2011, while the second phase would cost Rs.6 billion and would be ready within five years of the completion of the first phase,” State Law Minister M. Vijayakumar told reporters here.

The centre is coming up on the banks of the Akkulam river, which is a stone’s throw from the international airport here.

A 41,720 sq ft convention centre, a banquet hall for 1,100 people, eight meeting rooms with 30 seats each, three meeting halls to seat 75 each and a VIP room with 50 seats will be built in the first phase.

Also coming under the first phase is a 249 room five star hotel, 25 luxury poolside cottages, water sport facilities, a marina and a parking space of 71,000 sq ft.

Tourism secretary V. Venu said that the equity base of the joint venture would be Rs.680 million, of which the state government’s share would be Rs.176.6 million. It would be calculated as the cost of the 46 acres of land to be transferred for the project.

“If there is any balance after the cost of land is calculated, it will be taken by the government. The rest of the funds for the first phase would be raised through loans. The project would be run under the built, own, operate and transfer basis and the lease period is 90 years,” said Venu.

Ramnidhi Wasan, COO of Chalet Hotels, said the project will herald a new dimension for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition (MICE) tourism, which is now the fastest growing tourism segment.

“A state of the art centre like will certainly spur huge activity and since it is being set up in and around the backwater, its going to be special,” said Wasan.

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