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New Delhi's Aerocity hotels locked in security stalemate
Shekhar Niyogi, Bengaluru, February 15, 2013

NEW hotels in New Delhi's Aerocity are making losses as they wait for security clearance and a certification of completion from relevant government authorities.


Bordering the runway of Indira Gandhi International Airport, concerns about the proximity of these hotels’ rooms to the road the country’s prime minister and president travel en route to the airport have spurred the city authorities to heighten security levels.


No clear directive has been issued yet to the 13 hotels with a total of 5,500 rooms – some ready for opening and the rest in various stages of construction – but suggestions to ramp up security have included replacing windows with walls, demolishing the top two or three floors and installing six-layered bulletproof windowpanes and higher boundary walls.


Meanwhile, hotels such as Lemon Tree Premier, Delhi Aerocity, Red Fox Hotel, Delhi Airport, Ibis Delhi Airport and JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity are languishing in their completed states awaiting clearance.


Lemon Tree and Red Fox, which both come under the Lemon Tree Hotels group, have a total of 500 rooms and 600 employees on standby, reporting a daily loss of Rs2.5 million (US$46,294).


Patu Keswani, chairman and managing director, Lemon Tree Hotels, said: “We have complied with all requirements and have been waiting for the completion certificate since December.”


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