India Business
Madhya Pradesh to open holiday resort in Kerala
Feb 12, 2007 - 8:53:04 AM

Bhopal, Feb 12 - Seeking to cash in on the booming tourism industry of Kerala, the Madhya Pradesh government is contemplating setting up a seven-star resort on an estate it owns in the state.

Madhya Pradesh owns a 550-acre estate, worth more than Rs.3 billion, in Kerala's Wayanad district. The vast tract of land originally belonged to Scindias - and became the state's property at the time of inception of Madhya Pradesh in 1956.

Known as Beenachi Estate, the land, which is presently being used to grow coffee, is being managed by the Provident Investment Company. In 2001, the Kerala government acquired the estate, declaring it to be forest land. But the Madhya Pradesh government moved a court, obtained a stay and decided to make optimum use of the prime land.

'It appointed 'Trammel Crow Meghraj' - the Indian subsidiary of Britain-based Trammel Crow Company, estate managers and advisers - to prepare a project report for putting the land to optimum use', said an official source.

'The report suggested establishing a posh holiday resort on 35 acres of the land and continuing with coffee plantation in the remaining area,' the official added.

'Since the vast land provided a meagre Rs.6 million per annum to the state exchequer, the government in a bid to enhance its income from the prime land thought of changing its use,' state Finance Minister Ragavji Bhai told IANS.

Accordingly, the resort, expected to earn around Rs.50 million a year, will need an investment of around Rs.1 billion that the government proposes to raise through a joint venture.

'The proposed resort would include a health club and a golf course, besides other world class facilities. Open tenders for the same are expected to be invited in a week or so,' Bhai added.

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