In an official order on August 11, the managing director of RTDC Ngikya Gohain narrated reasons for cancellation of the lease highlighting how various departments like the forestry, water resources and the Udaipur district administration showed concern over the unlawful construction activities undertaken by the company in the eco-sensitive zone.
Moreover, the order said that the licencee did not follow the terms of the contract and caused damage to the heritage structure and style of the building.
TOI was first to report on July 26, 2021 that RTDC awarded the lease to Epitome Destination in March for five years starting from April 1, extendable by another similar period, for a monthly rental of Rs 40,000 for the four properties.
The licencee then carried out renovation work, including the construction of a swimming pool without any approvals from RTDC. The company was asked to explain why it failed to take the approvals for the construction of a swimming pool which was not there earlier. It was only repair works the licencee was supposed to do, not any new construction.
An enquiry committee had carried out inspection of the construction and found gross violations of the terms of the contract.
All the decisions relating to the award of the lease were undertaken without the knowledge of the chairman of RTDC and principal secretary tourism.
When TOI contacted principal secretary tourism, Gayatri Rathore, she said, “We are inquiring if due administrative processes were followed before awarding the leases. If we find overstepping of responsibilities, we will take necessary action as per the law.”
In fact, there is a big question mark as to on what basis the monthly rents were fixed. All the decisions were taken by the MD of RTDC alone. Sources said the matter was never taken to RTDC board and unilaterally done at the MD level.