Oberoi Wildflower Hall booked for pollution norms

Oberoi Group’s flagship luxury resort, Wildflower Hall hotel in Shimla has been served notice by the state’s pollution control board for violating environmental norms.oberoi wildflower hotel shimla

State pollution control board member-secretary Nagin Nanda told news agencies that a notice has been issued to Wildflower Hall hotel for discharging sewage into a natural nallah in forests adjoining the hotel

He said the discharge from the hotel is contaminating drinking water sources of more than 12 villages located in the hotel vicinity.

Nanda said the pollution control board officials, acting on the complaint of the villagers, found that the hotel was discharging the treated sewage water, meant for irrigating hotel gardens, into the nallah.

“We have collected water and soil samples from the nearby villages and found that these are getting contaminated due to discharge of effluents,” he said.

Wildflower Hall general manager Robert Mason was quoted by the agencies saying, “We have not received any notice from the government.”

Wildflower Hall, at Charabra on the outskirts of state capital Shimla is sought after by high-end tourists, celebrities and politicians. This super luxury resort in the Himalayas has been awarded many international awards in the past noticeable among them being the Favourite Overseas Hotel Spa, Asia & the Indian Subcontinent, Ranked 2nd by the Conde Nast Traveller, UK, 2010.

The Hotel, once a government property earlier had a free access for the locals and tourists, which now has been restricted only to high-end tourists and VVIPs. The property is identified with Lord Kitchener built in the grand colonial style. After it was gutted in a fire in 1990-91, the then Congress government gave it almost on a platter to the Oberoi group.

The BJP government, on return to power in 1998, took over the hotel citing serious violations of the joint venture agreement, which eventually became a subject of litigation and arbitration. The state government finally won the battle in 2005 but the Oberoi Group again filed a case in the High Court, which is still pending.

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