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Will a hotel at Historic Mubarak Mandi Complex do any good to Dogra culture?

The move of the conversion of a portion of historic Mubarak Mandi Complex into Heritage Hotel has stirred the emotions of residents of Jammu. The portion to be converted is under Public Private Partnership (PPP) model on Design Develop-Finance-Build-Maintain and Operate basis.

The decision of converting a portion of historic Mubarak Mandi complex into Heritage Hotel was taken by the Governing Body of the Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society

Government has looked for residential palaces situated in the eastern part of heritage complex called Zanana Mahal for converting into Heritage Hotel. But it has been assured by the Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society that conversion of the portion will not lead to any changes in the original architecture of the buildings.

Society has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for development of Heritage Hotel in one portion of the complex since it can help in reuse of the complex.

As per the EOI, national/international chains engaged in hotels and hospitality industry having minimum of 20 years experience in development, operation and ownership of five star category hotels/heritage hotels can participate. Moreover, they must have minimum average turnover of Rs 35 crore per annum during last four years.

“The company should have an experience of project undertaking and restoring and during last 10 years should have completed at least 5 heritage properties/hotels in India having a minimum of 15 rooms each”, the EoI said, adding “the interested company should have experience of managing/operating at least 5 hotel properties in India out of which at least two should be the heritage properties”. The last date for submission of Expression of Interest is August 9, 2021.

But the civil society from different areas has shown their serious concern on the move. Many representatives of different organizations feel that instead of protecting the historic complex, it is being commercialized. Former Minister and President of Dogra Sadar Sabha Gulchain Singh Charak has called the move as an attempt to trivialize the symbol of Dogra pride and heritage.

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