KOZHIKODE: In a first of its kind initiative that could change campus eating habits, the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Limited (KTDC) has come out with a proposal to start a budget hotel inside the Calicut University campus. The project, if realised, would also be a fine mode of generating regular income for the university, which is facing resource crunch.
According to the KTDC, this is a move targeting students who prefer quality food in hygienic atmosphere. The proposal, forwarded to University Vice-Chancellor M Abdul Salam by KTDC managing director Ali Asgar Pasha, will be placed before the next Syndicate meeting to be held on March 7 for approval. Though criticised in the beginning for speculations over the proposal title - fullfledged hotel - KTDC has made clear that they have no plans to serve alcohol and the venture is purely a budget hotel.
The proposal has been warmly received by the student fraternity, who are looking forward for an option to say no to the canteen food. As per the proposal, the KTDC aims at developing a full-fledged hotel, serving budget food and accommodation on the land leased out from the varsity. “What we plan is a 100- room budget hotel that offers discount for University students and staff. We will not apply for classification (starrating) and this will be our first initiative in Malabar region. Once it’s successful, we will move to other universities also,” Pasha said. Pasha, an alumni of Calicut University batch 1986, has another reason also behind opting Malabar. “Our Malabar Mansion project is almost defunct now.
We do not have other major projects in the Malabar region. Since the University does not have good restaurants on its premises, this would be a great choice for the students,” he said. The planned hotel is one with boarding and lodging facilities which would help the University for conducting seminars and workshops and for accommodating visiting scholars, researchers and faculty members arriving at the university. Rain Drops, run by KTDC in Chennai would be a model for this project.
The 100- room hotel project, if approved, would be set up in a five-acre plot on the National Highway. The meals served in the restaurant would cost less than `100. “A university should be a living city. I don’t know why they require five acres for the entire project. But a good hotel inside the campus is a necessity. KTDC as the brand name would offer quality food. And it would be an added advantage for those who visit the university and travelling to the airport,” said Vice- Chancellor Abdul Salam. “At least we will have an option other than the canteen food. And the greatest relief would be that the fight over the mess sharing would end,” said Manoj Namboodiri, a student at Folklore department