The state government would soon invite bids for reviving its showpiece Shamuka tourism project planned at Sipasarubali, 10 km south of Puri. “The restriction by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the construction work on Shamuka tourism project is lifted. We hope to initiate bidding for the project by the end of this month,” said Gagan Dhal, principal secretary (tourism), Odisha.
Though the project was conceived 25 years back, it is yet to take off battling stiff protests from land oustees and getting marred in litigations.
Initially, the bidding process in December 2008 saw a tepid response with only three hotel chains participating in the process. This is despite the fact that the pre-bidding stage had drawn some of the sought after names like Taj Group of Hotels and Resorts, ITC, Park Hotels, Ananda Spa, Emaar MGF with Hyatt, DLF with Hilton, Unitech with Starhood and Zoom Developers with Kamat hotels.
After the lukewarm response, the state government engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to prepare the revised bid document.
The mega tourism project is developed on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. The state government had lined up an investment of Rs 120 crore on external infrastructure such as water supply, electricity and roads for the project.
The tourism department has decided to execute the Shamuka tourism project in a phased manner.