SHILLONG, Feb 2: Construction of the Crowborough Hotel in the heart of the city is still embroiled in fresh arbitration case. It was in 1986 that the foundation stone of this hotel was laid. Thirty years have passed and it has not seen the light of the day. It has been an eyesore of Shillong city after the government and the construction firms locked in a legal battle till a local entrepreneur under M/S Leslee Shylla was allotted in 2008 with a lease agreement on a ‘build operate and transfer ‘(BOT) in a span of thirty three years. However, the lessee could not complete the work in time.
In spite of reminders, the lessee has been given extension on purported logical grounds. The MTDC filly decided to appoint an arbitrator to settle the issue related to the non-compliance of the lessee (Leslee Shylla) to complete the construction and to run the state sponsored five star hotel.
The case of arbitration is being taken up by Justice (retd) BC Sharma to settle the issue pertaining to M/S Lesslee Shylla failure to adhere with the time frame in completing the work and in running of the hotel for a span of 33 years, informed a source in the MTDC confirmed on condition of anonymity.
The 1st and 2nd sittings of the arbitrator was held in December 18, 2016 and in mid-January this year and the next hearing is scheduled in March, divulged the source even as he added that the Corporation decision to take the extra yard is due non-compliance of the lessee to numerous reminders .
The source also negated the possibility of having the government into another fincial burden due to the arbitration case. “This is a case of dispute that will have no fincial bearings on the Government”, the source claimed, with a confidence that the arbitration is expected to complete in two-to three months time. It may be mentioned that the State Government had to shell more than Rs 3 crore to A.C Builders and Astra Construction in an ‘out of court’ settlement on the very same hotel in the past two decades.
Asked on this, the official said, “There will be no fincial repercussion on the state exchequer” adding, ‘notwithstanding the arbitration, the lessee had paid and will have to pay the amount as agreed”.
As per the agreement, the lessee will have to pay an amount of Rs 99.89 crores after the lease expired. Till date the lessee who could not complete the work in a time bound manner has paid a mere Rs 8 odd crores to the government.