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Seven five-star hotels under construction complete EIA

  • ENVIRONMENT CHECK
- SANGAM PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Apr 17, 2018-Seven five-star hotels under construction have completed their environment impact assessment (EIA) while three are in the process of doing so, the Department of Tourism said.   

Hotels with more than 100 beds are required to do an EIA while others have to carry out an initial environmental examination (IEE) before beginning construction.

This compulsory requirement ensures that environmental performances are carried out in accordance with environmental laws and standards, and that they are generally conducted during the feasibility study for the project.

Rajesh Kumar Lamsal, an official at the Tourism Department, said properties with 50 beds have to conduct an IEE while properties with more than 50 beds have to conduct an EIA.

The government has allowed hotels and resorts to import furniture, carpet, kitchen equipment and other industry-specific items during the construction and operation phase by paying a minimum 5 percent customs duty.

“The department recommends to the Customs Department to provide the privilege after hotels and resorts apply for it after completing their environment assessment,” he said. “Old hotels should also conduct the EIA or IEE as it has become mandatory now.”

However, there are separate rules for hotels and resorts operating or being constructed inside national park buffer zones or controlled areas. The IEE is mandatory for such hotels and resorts having 10-50 rooms while the EIA is mandatory for properties with more than 50 rooms.  

According to him, five proposed five-star hotels in Kathmandu (Hyatt Place, Sheraton, Aloft and Marriott International) and two in Jhapa (Dwarika’s Inn and Mechi Crown Plaza) have completed the EIA.

Similarly, the Pawan Palace in Bhairahawa has completed the EIA while the Buddha Regency in Bhairahawa is in the process of completing it. Two proposed five-star properties, Zinc Kathmandu and CG Hotels, are in the process of completing the EIA, the department said.

The Tourism Department awards a five-star rating to hotels following a necessary inspection after they apply for the prestigious ranking. Last November, the Tiger Palace Resort at Kotihawa, Bhairahawa was awarded a five-star rating by the department. Meanwhile, among the proposed four-star hotels, the department has completed the EIA of the Akama Hotel in Dhumbarahi. The hotel is promoted by former Non-Resident Nepali Association president Jiba Lamichhane. Similarly, Barahi Housing and Leasing Company, the operator of the Hotel Barahi in Pokhara, has applied for an IEE as it plans to construct a multipurpose complex including a hotel in Thamel. 

The View Hotel Siddhartha in Nepalgunj has also completed its EIA as it plans to upgrade to a four-star category. Last year, three hotels were awarded a four-star rating by the Department of Tourism. The new entrants to the four-star club are the Cygnett Inn Krishna Hotel in Nepalgunj, Hotel Opera in Mahendranagar and Hotel Ichchha in Simara.

According to the Economic Activities Study Report 2016-17 released by Nepal Rastra Bank, 6,188 room nights were added during the last fiscal year across the country. The figure represents a 9.79 percent growth.

The central bank’s study covered eight major cities—Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Pokhara, Siddharthanagar, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi—covering 57 districts. The 2,501 tourist-standard hotels and lodges in the country produced 69,355 room nights daily, the survey report said.

Soaltee Sibkrim to upgrade to five-star

KATHMANDU: The Soaltee Crowne Plaza that has expanded its portfolio with a four-star property in Nepalgunj, its first hotel outside Kathmandu, has applied to upgrade it to a five-star property. The Department of Tourism said they would be granting the prestigious rating after conducting the necessary inspection. The 99-room Soaltee Sibkrim Hotels & Resorts started operations in January. (PR)

Published: 17-04-2018 08:38

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