August 30 - As many as 16 hotel projects in New Delhi the Indian Government hoped would provide accommodation for next year's Commonwealth Games are set to miss their target, leaving a shortfall of nearly 3,000 rooms.
The projects, including those being developed by major firms including Emaar MGF, would have created 2,400 additional rooms but are now unlikely to be ready until after the Games in October 2010, India's Urban Development Ministry (UDM) has admitted.
The Urban Development Secretary M Ramachandran claimed the shortfall would be compensated by about 2,700 flats being built by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
He said: “These are flats, which means there will be more rooms.
"The ITDC (India Tourism Development Corporation) will take over these flats from the DDA and get those furnished before the event."
Up to 100,000 foreign visitors are expected to attend the Games, which are due to open on October 3, 2010, and are the biggest event to be held in India since the 1982 Asian Games.
A Parliamentary report published earlier this year predicted a shortfall of at least 14,000 rooms.
The situation has forced the Government and tourism officials to look elsewhere for accommodation, including encouraging private homeowners to sign up to bed and breakfast schemes and investigating the possibility of setting-up camp sites on army bases.
A recent report by the UDM shows that of the 16 projects that will miss completion before the event, two are 250-room hotels being built by Emaar MGF, which is also developing the main Commonwealth Games Village project.
According to the UDM assessment, 56 per cent of the Games village project was completed by mid-August, and it will be ready by April 2010.
Ramachandran said some of the stadium projects were late by up to four per cent, but that delay would be made up in the next few months.
He said: “All stadium projects are very much on track."