Udaipur : In adherence to the orders of a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Jodhpur, Udaipur district administration commenced the listing of the entire inventories/movable and immovable properties of Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel here. The CBI court in Jodhpur on Wednesday had ordered the takeover after it found that the hotel, once a property of the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), was fraudulently disinvested in 2004 by the NDA government.
The court ordered that the property should be attached and reverted back to the public sector unit ITDC, which should run it. As soon as the court’s order was delivered, the local administration led by Collector Chetan Ram Deora, Zila Parishad and Udaipur Municipal Corporation officials went to the hotel and took over possession of the place. The site verification was done through pictures captured from drone camera and later collated with the khasra number of the site map. On Thursday the property listing work was commenced under the supervision of a receiver delegate specially appointed for this task.
“Four teams two each from the UMC and UIT are engaged in the property listing task. Each team has on average four members each who would do intense and detailed listings of all the movable and immovable properties of the Hotel. It may take some three to five days for us to complete the work” Shailesh Surana, the receiver delegate and ACEO, Zila Parishad told Udaipur Kiran.
Meanwhile, Udaipur collector Chetan Deora said a detailed report on the assets would be submitted to the CBI court in the coming days. As per the court’s direction on running the hotel by the government, the collector said that a letter has been sent to the Central Ministry of Tourism as well as the Indian Tourism Development Corporation for taking over the responsibility of the hotel.
The CBI court’s decision has been greatly applauded by the civil society and activists here. Ex MP and member of the Congress Working Committee Raghuveer Singh Meena hailed the court’s decision and said that the UPA government had always strived to save public sector enterprises but the NDA did the opposite and caused huge loss to the state’s exchequer. Ambalal Nayak, the chief of LaxmiVilas Bachao Sangharsh Samiti who have been leading the movement, termed the CBI court’s decision as ‘victory of truth’.
Nayak had filed a writ at the High Court which was dismissed for lack of proper documents. He later put up a complaint at the CBI office Jodhpur. The CBI registered an FIR based on a complaint in August 2014, but filed a closure report after an enquiry. The CBI Court ordered a re-initiation of inquiry in August 2019, but the CBI again filed a closure report citing the reason that in the absence of witnesses, the inquiry cannot be pursued. But the CBI Court did not agree with the closure report. Jagdish Raj Shrimali, coordinator of the movement too welcomed the court’s decision and said that instead of a business house, the profits would go to the union government.