Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Oct. 6

A consortium with Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd as the lead member would set up an urban entertainment centre project in the heart of Hyderabad, on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has awarded the project to the consortia, which has formed GSG Construction Pvt. Ltd as the Special Purpose Vehicle company for executing it. The project would come up in the campus of what was earlier the Gandhi Medical College in Basheerbagh.

To come up on a 5.61 acre plot, the project is estimated to cost Rs 137.52 crore. It would primarily comprise a retail shopping mall, with a minimum of 50-60 per cent of the total built-up area, according to a Government press release here.

In the balance area, facilities to house hospitality, leisure and entertainment would be developed. A multi-purpose convention centre, restaurants, multiplex, food courts, gaming zone, family entertainment center, indoor theme part and ethnic enclosure with a crafts bazaar for handicrafts for the purpose of tourists have been planned.

Efforts would also be made to renovate the heritage building and develop them as ethnic enclosures. Heritage structures like the Principal Room and Main build of Lady Hydari Club are to be conserved as per the guidelines already issued by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The Project is being implemented by the Tourism Department. The consortia has been given the land on a lease period of 33 years.

Meanwhile, the plans of the State Government have invited stiff opposition from the People's representatives from Hyderabad, including the legislators and Members of Parliament.

They argued that, already the area is choked and permission for a venture like this would only aggravate the problem.

They argued that it was the right place to house the Offices of the Hyderabad Collectorate as well as the various departments.

The Government defended that the land was transferred to the Tourism Department to enable some private parties to set up the Entertainment Centre to raise money for paying back the costs incurred on the newly built Gandhi Medical College and hospitals in Musheerabad.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 7, 2006)
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