Transparency demanded in leasing of Smabara Inn hotel

January 13, 2015 Off By Web Desk

Larkana: A summary titled ‘Approval of Estimate for award of Contract’ for leasing out historical Sambara Inn Hotel for thirty years has been approved by the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, which was directly put up to him by former Culture, Tourism & Antiquities Department (CT&AD) Secretary, Saqib Ahmed Soomro, bypassing Sindh Chief Secretary as his signature is missing on the summary, said sources.

According to the summary, ‘Sambara Inn Hotel is symbol of living monument having historical significance as it was earmarked as commercial motel for tourists & visitors to Mohenjo Daro. It was handed over for operation & maintenance to Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) which is now under the administrative control of Tourism Wing of the department.

The period of possession of this motel expired on November 01, 2011 and the district government is no more existing due to reversal of Local Government system, therefore, the motel will be handed over to CT&AD very soon so it will be in the best public interest for the historical city Larkana to award the control of Sambara Inn Hotel to any noble firm for some period’.

Three firms submitted bids for which no advertisement was given in the newspapers out of which M/s: Taj Corporation, Rohri Road, Sukkur, was recommended which quoted highest bidding rent at Rs:2,50,000/- per month for a period of thirty years with the condition that during the leasing period they will maintain its repair and renovation at their own expenditure.

The hotel has four specious lawns, Bar B Q, swimming pool, 48 rooms and is spread over five acre costly land on main VIP road here. It was constructed by PIA during mid 70s where its district sales office is still working. It was originally meant for international tourists & guests who wanted to visit world heritage monuments of Mohenjo Daro.

It is said that its name was specifically chosen by PPP founder & Ex-Prime Minister late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as the name of dancing girl artifact found from the ancient site is also Sambara which also proves that it is still connected with Mohenjo Daro. A visit to the hotel on Wednesday showed that repair & renovation work was underway at the cost of Rs:20 million, sources told this Scribe and out of 48 rooms, 24 have so far been repaired & renovated and the tiles will be fixed in front of reception area on ground floor for which work was in progress. 25 employees are working in the hotel out of which seven are regular and others on daily wages basis. Its monthly income at the moment is approximately Rs:1.2 million out of which rupees seven lac is monthly expenditure thus a saving of over rupees 6.6 million annually is being made but the government is leasing it out for 30 long years at half of the amount is really astonishing and raises many questions about its malafide intentions.

Inayat Memon, organizer, Writers Club, Larkana told PPI that rulers must refrain from leasing out this historical place otherwise it will be resisted by the writers & intellectuals. He condemned this act terming it malicious adding that soul of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto must have pained. Former President, Sindh High Court Bar Association, Larkana, & Supreme Court Advocate Inayatullah Morio while talking to PPI said that if the government continued with its decision then it will be challenged in the Sindh High Court as it is illegal because lease of a donated land cannot be given to any other party.

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