A guest relaxes poolside at the Taj Mansingh Hotel in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News)

Taj Mansingh To Finally Go Under Hammer On July 18

After an unsuccessful first attempt at auctioning Delhi's iconic luxury hotel Taj Mansingh, the New Delhi Municipal Council has decided to conduct a fresh bid for the property on July 18.

The much-delayed auction, which was to be held this month, was cancelled since only Tata Group's Indian Hotels Company Ltd. - the existing operator - bid for retaining the property. The bid of the only other participant, ITC Ltd., was not accepted on technical grounds.

Also read: Taj Mansingh Hotel Gives NDMC Its ‘Best Revenue’, Indian Hotels Tells Supreme Court

The civic body had issued an annulment notice for the e-auction last week.

"Less than three bids were received for the property and as per norms, three technically qualified bidders are required for the e-auction process to reach the second stage. Hence, the auction process stands annulled," the notice read.

Taj Mansingh was given to the Tata group in 1978 on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The company had since then been given nine temporary extensions. However, the civic body could not auction the property then as it was tied up in a legal battle with IHCL.

Between June 16 and June 22, the hotel was open for site visits by prospective bidders. The NDMC will conduct a pre-bid meeting tomorrow and the last date for submission of bids is July 9.

Also read: How Much Would Losing Taj Mansingh Hurt Indian Hotels?

The criterion of three minimum qualified bids has been retained in the latest re-tendering process. The lease period, which was 33 years in the first tender, has not been changed. The bid security amount of Rs 250 million, too, has remained unchanged.

The Tata group acquired ‘The Connaught’, a three-star property, in an auction this week. The civic body also auctioned Hotel Asian International this week which was acquired by Bloom Hospitality Group.

The NDMC had last year decided to auction Hotel Connaught and re-auction Asian Hotel, after these were sealed in 2015 due to non-payment of licence fees.

In January last year, the Asian Hotel’s e-auction fetched Rs 45.5 lakh per month as licence fee, the highest-ever for the agency. However, the bidder later refused to take the property, necessitating a re-auction.