Connect with us

CAG to audit Oberoi’s Wildflower Hall in Shimla

Published

on

CAG to audit Oberoi’s Wildflower Hall in Shimla

Shimla- Oberoi Group’s Wildflower Hall, a luxury spa on the outskirts of this popular hill resort, has been caught in spot again, as the state government has decided in favour of the audit of the hotel by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, say officials.

“The government has decided to entrust the audit of Wildflower Hall since 1995 to the CAG,” a state government official told IANS Thursday.

He said the cabinet, which met here Tuesday, gave its nod in this regard.
Wildflower Hall, sought-after by high-end tourists and celebrities, is a joint venture of Mashobra Resorts, the Oberoi Group company that runs the hotel, and the state government. It has long been under litigation between the two partners.

The state government, a stakeholder, suspects financial wrongdoings in the heritage hotel that has been running into losses since March 2001.

Sources said the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in 2011 had requested the CAG for an audit review of the company. The national auditor agreed to conduct the audit.

The hotel was handed over to the Oberoi Group under a joint venture in 1995 by the then Congress government.
Previous chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who entrusted the hotel’s audit to the CAG, had said: “It’s strange that the Oberoi’s other two ventures in Shimla – Clarke’s and Cecil – are making profit. Only Wildflower Hall is running into losses, that too for years together.”

British-era Wildflower Hall was once the residence of Lord Kitchener, Field Marshal in the British Army who played a significant role in the early part of World War I.

After India’s Independence, the building was handed over to the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation for running a hotel. The building was gutted in a fire in 1990.

The government then approached prominent hoteliers and finally shortlisted the Oberois.
It was handed over to the hospitality group to set up a five-star hotel. At that time, the cost of constructing the 85-room hotel was pegged at Rs.40 crore (Rs.400 million) and the state government’s share was fixed at 35 percent.

Subsequently, the Oberois raised the cost of the project to over Rs.990 million, which reduced the government’s equity to 21 percent, government officials said.
The government scrapped the joint venture agreement with the Oberois in 2002, pointing out serious irregularities in the construction cost. The Oberois challenged the government decision in the Himachal Pradesh High Court, which appointed an arbitrator.

The arbitrator in his award in 2005 said the partnership was irreconcilable and asked for converting the agreement into a leasehold property.

The Oberois, who were told to pay Rs.940 million to the government as rent for a period of 40 years from 1995, again moved the high court against the decree.
The case is now pending in the court.

Wildflower Hall is located at Charabra at a height of 8,300 feet, and commands a breathtaking view.
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka are regular guests at the hotel.-IANS

Oberoi’s Wildflower Hall in Shimla

Himachal Watcher is Himachal Pradesh's most credible online English magazine and news portal

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Pradesh: Today Last Chance for First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine for Left-Out Health Care Workers

Published

on

Himachal Pradesh last date for first dose of covid-19 vaccine

Shimla-Mission Director National Health Mission, Himachal Pradesh, Dr. Nipun Jindal yesterday informed that 25th February 2021 will be the last date of the mop-up round for the vaccination of Health Care Workers (HCWs).

All the Chief Medical Officers were directed to prepare the list of all such Health Care Workers who are registered on CoWIN portal but have not been vaccinated for the first dose till date. Districts have been directed to create sessions for all such left out beneficiaries as per the requirement to ensure maximum coverage of Health Care Workers.

All the CMOs were further directed to analyse and review their block-wise coverage to assess the left-out beneficiaries and to further direct their Block Medical Officers to arrange sessions in all the blocks. It was also reiterated to utilize all available channels of communication to reach out to the left-out beneficiaries.

Dr. Nipun Jindal further informed that this will be the last chance for all HCWs to get the first dose of the COVID vaccine. He appealed to all registered but not vaccinated health care workers for reporting to their nearest session site on 25th February for getting vaccinated irrespective of receiving SMS for the session scheduling. Such beneficiaries will be scheduled on-site.

He further informed that till now more than 78 percent of registered Health Care Workers have been vaccinated in the State. So far only 0.5 percent AEFI cases have been reported, of which only one needed hospitalization.

He further appealed to the beneficiaries to ignore any rumours and come forward to get themselves vaccinated as the vaccine is completely safe.

Dr. Jindal also informed that Himachal Pradesh is the leading state in the country in 2nd dose coverage of Health Care Workers, achieving more than 91 percent of the expected target.

Continue Reading

Misc News/Press Release

HP Govt Notifies New Paragliding, River Rafting Sites, Plans Floating Restaurant at Tattapani

Published

on

HP Govt notified new adventure sports sites in himachal pradesh

Shimla-New sites for adventure sports activities in Himachal Pradesh has been notified by the State Government, informed Director Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yunus Khan, yesterday.

On 23 February the State Government had announced that it was planning to open a floating restaurant at Tattapani in Mandi district. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had also inaugurated water sports activities at Tattapani from Shimla.

Additional sites for paragliding and river rafting has been notified. Now tourists visiting the state could experience paragliding at new sites in the districts of Kullu, Kangra, Mandi, Chamba, and Shimla.

New notified paragliding sites in Himachal Pradesh include:

  1. Pandhara to Gadsa and Khargan to Nangabag in district Kullu
  2. Tang Narwana to Khirku  in Kangra district
  3. Darouta to Lahra (Khajjiar) and Lahra to Darol and Raina to Nainikhad Jarei in Chamba district
  4. Prashar and Spenidhar in Mandi district
  5. Tikkar, Junga  to Chauri/Junga in Shimla district

New site for river rafting on river Beas from Nadaun to Dehra Bridge has also been notified. 

Other than the notified river rafting sites, already existing sites in Himachal includes

  1. Shamshi to Jehri and Babeli to Pirdi in Kullu district,
  2. Luhri to Tattapani in Shimla district,
  3. Darch to Jispa and Kaza Bridge to Tabo in Lahaul-Spiti. 

He said that for the safety of paragliding pilots and tourists, the Department of Tourism in collaboration with Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (ABVIMAS), Manali, has taken the initiative to provide training courses to paragliding pilots, which includes SIV course, a safety training course for Tandem paragliding pilots.

Director said that in the last two years an expenditure of approximately rupees two crore has been incurred on imparting training courses to 749 persons, which includes basic mountaineering course, paragliding course, basic, intermediate and advance skiing course including SIV course for providing training to locals from these newly identified areas.

In addition to these new notified sites, there are many other notified sites in Himachal Pradesh for paragliding for adventure enthusiasts. These sites include

  1. Bir-Billing, Chohla Indru Nag near Dharamshala in Kangra district,
  2. Solang Nalah, Marhi, Talaiti-Talogi, Majach-Shanag in Kullu district
  3. Mauja Rehad to Karganoo in Solan district
  4. Ser Jagaas in Sirmaur district.

State Government had already also notified H.P. Miscellaneous Adventure Activities ‘Amendment’ Rules. The government also said that it would start new water sports activities like a speed boat, water skiing, jet skiing, ski-boarding, water scooter, cruise etc. in various water bodies.

In the Karsog area, the Government had said, popular tourist destinations such as Mahunag Temple, Kamaksha Temple etc. would be developed from a religious tourism point of view. 

Continue Reading

Misc News/Press Release

Special Campaign for Issuing Golden Card under Ayushman Bharat Yojana Launched

Published

on

Golden Card under Ayushman Bharat Yojana

Shimla-Secretary Health Himachal Pradesh, Amitabh Awasthi, informed that under Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana a special campaign has been launched to issue Golden Card. He said that under this campaign, camps have been organized to issue cards and the department is also issuing cards by visiting the houses of eligible candidates.

He said that under this special campaign that started from 19th November 2020, Golden Cards have been issued to 29660 families (67520 persons). Golden Cards have been issued to 74.2 percent of families whereas in India this figure is 49.6 percent. The Health Department has targeted to issue Golden Cards to the remaining families by 31st March 2021, he informed.

Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was launched by the Government of India on 23rd September 2018. This scheme is also being implemented in Himachal Pradesh from 23rd September 2018. Under the scheme, there is a provision of free treatment facility of upto rupees five lakh on hospitalization.

At present 200 hospitals in the State are registered under this scheme, out of which 64 are private hospitals, he informed. Beneficiaries can also avail free medical treatment facility anywhere in the hospitals registered by other states or Union Territories across India.

He said that for this scheme families have been selected based on the social, economic cast census, 2011 and National Health Insurance scheme (2014-15) and about 1579 representation have been included for free treatment. Day-care surgeries have also been included in it. Under the scheme, the eligible families have been selected by the Government of India and about 4,78,985 families are eligible in the State out of which Golden Cards of 3,56,372 families have been made.

He said that under the scheme 81,898 beneficiaries have received the benefit of free medical treatment worth Rs. 87.26 crore in the State.

Amitabh Awasthi said that under Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, issuing Golden Cards is a routine process and eligible families can prepare their Aadhar Cards and Ration Cards at the nearest Lokmitra Kendra.

He said that due to COVID-19 pandemic the work of issuing Golden Card has been affected and the Cards could not be issued to the eligible families as the beneficiaries needed to visit the nearest hospital or Lokmitra Kendra to prepare the Cards. He said that under this scheme, if the beneficiary has not prepared Golden Card, then the hospital issues him the Golden Card immediately at the time of treatment so that they could avail the benefit of free treatment. He said that to know about eligibility one can contact on toll-free No. 14555 and can log in to the website (mera.pmjay.gov.in.)

 

Continue Reading

Trending