HP govt gets possession of British-era 5-Star property Wildflower Hall after court battle with Oberoi Group
Shimla/UNI: The Himachal Pradesh government took possession of Wildflower Hall at Charabar, a five-star facility, after winning a legal battle against international hospitality conglomerate Oberoi Group.
Top government officials said Wildflower Hall in Chharabra, located on the outskirts of Shimla, has been handed over to Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.
According to the latest information, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Director Mansi Sahay has been designated the administrator of the property, and AGM Anil Taneja the OSD.
Early this morning, HPTDC and district administration teams rushed to Chharabra with heavy police force.
The gathering of police personnel created panic among the Oberoi management and staff.
The government took over the property worth crores of rupees following yesterday's orders of the High Court.
In August 2022, the Himachal Pradesh High Court justified the government's decision to take the property from Oberoi Group and the government's decision to cancel the agreement with the company.
The court also clarified that the state government has full authority to take back the property from the Oberoi Group and East India Hotel Company.
The company has absolutely no right to accept the beneficial terms in the agreement and ignore those that are causing losses, the court said, passing the judgment.
Oberoi Group also challenged the arbitration award of this property in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court upheld the ruling and slapped a penalty on the international hospitality unit.
The residence of Lord Kitchener, who was a Commander of the British Army, Wild Flower Hall is a 5-star resort that offers the ambiance of a grand stately home.
The Wild Flower Hall offers a unique opportunity to lose yourself in nature.
In 1909, after Lord Kitchener returned to England, Wild Flower Hall was sold to Robert Hotz and his wife.
In 1925, after demolishing the old house, Hotez built a fine three-story hotel.
After Independence, the hotel was transferred to the Himachal government for use as an agricultural university.
It was taken over by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) in 1973, which operated the property till 1993.
On April 5, 1993, a massive fire, caused by an electrical short circuit, burned the wooden structure of the hotel to ashes.