Taj hotel premises handed back to Tata group

December 1st, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 1 (IANS) Indian Hotels, owners of the terror-struck-and-ravaged Taj Mahal Palace and Towers Hotel here, began the risk assessment of their property after taking over its control from security agencies Monday.”In the early hours of Dec 1st, the security authorities handed control of the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers back to the Taj group,” said a statement issued by the company, a part of the Tata group, India’s largest industrial house.

“However, certain parts of the property are still inaccessible, either due to the continuing security investigations or for safety reasons,” the statement said, adding the premises have been placed under a tight seal.

“Access to hotel buildings is only being given to a limited number of specialist personnel. This is due to the need to remove all potential sources of risk arising from the attack,” the statement added.

“Sections of the building also require specialist assessment to establish their structural integrity, but these surveys will not be initiated until the risk assessment is complete.”

A sea-facing landmark of India’s commercial capital, offering a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the majestic Gateway of India, the Taj hotel was built in 1903, with its architecture blending Moorish, Oriental and Florentine styles.

Visitors to the hotel have come away in awe of its Indian influences, vaulted alabaster ceilings, onyx columns, archways, carpets and chandeliers, as also its collection of art and antique furniture.

The terror attacks in Mumbai had begun last Wednesday night, when armed men got off boats at the tourist hub of Gateway of India and targeted 10 locations. They finally ended at the Taj hotel Saturday morning in a hail of bullets and blasts.

The three nights and two days in between saw nearly 200 people being killed, including some 20 policemen and foreigners each, and left more than 325 injured.

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