Friday, Sep 05, 2003
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By K. Venkateshwarlu
``It is going to be a unique all-encompassing one-stop, well-networked facility for both domestic and foreign tourists. It takes care of all their requirements by providing hotel accommodation, food court, swimming pool, gym, custom-designed tours, booking for onward journey by any mode, money changers, ATM, post office, telecom centre, Internet cafe, shopping for curios, et al,'' Anjaneya Reddy, chairman and managing director of the APTDC told The Hindu on Thursday.
The Rs. 12.25 crore six-storeyed aesthetically designed building will come up on the 1.89 acre prime site of Ananda Nilayam Guest House on the busy Begumpet Road.
The State Cabinet has recently approved the project and cleared the site belonging to the Roads & Buildings Department. At present, only Goa and Tamil Nadu have such ITFs but "ours would be the best,'' he contended.
Of the 1.86 lakh square feet of built space to be created, a major share of 68,000 sft on ground and first two floors, would be for the Tourist Facilitation Centre. The ground floor will have counters for rail, air, taxi as well as hotel and resort bookings, space for tour operators and travel agents besides the Central Reservation Office of the APTDC and tourist information bureau. Banks, ATMs, money changers, post office, courier service, Internet cafe, medical facility, food court with 100 seating capacity, book shop and library will also be on the ground floor.
The entire space of the first floor, would be for pearl/ jewellery, handicrafts, handlooms and exhibition area. The second floor is the place for Government of India, State and Union Territory tourism department and corporation offices, conference cum audio visual centre. "The centre will be the place where the respective state tourism departments/corporations can screen promotional films for the potential tourists. Another speciality would be networking of state tourism departments and booking of accomdation and other facilities online'', Mr. Reddy said. Swimming pool, gymnasium, coffee shop, bar and restaurant and banquet hall would be the other attractions on the third floor.
The remaining three floors, fourth, fifth and sixth floors (39,350 sft) would be earmarked for 80 room hotel including six exceutive suites. ''It is not just the hotel as is being made out but the extensive facilities, all catering to the needs of the tourists that the building will come to be known for''. Cellar space has been allotted for parking for 136 cars. Yet another feature would be provision of 50 chaffeur- cum- tourist guides, for tourists.
As for funding, Mr. Reddy said the Central Government has already sanctioned Rs. 5 crores and the remaining Rs. 7.25 crores is planned to raised as loan from banks. The architectural designs and detailed plans have been finalised and the civil works are expected to commence soon. The project would be commissioned by December 2004.
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