Chandigarh: It is
already housefull in and around Chandigarh for March 30 when the
semifinal of the Cricket World Cup take place. Hotels are
completely packed ahead of the clash between India and Pakistan.
Amid the euphoria over the match at the Punjab Cricket Association
(PCA) stadium in Mohali, hotels of all hues - budget or upscale
ones - have been blocked for March 29 and 30.
Mohali town is 10 km from here. And visitors will find that
getting a hotel room is near impossible.
More than half of the room inventory is reserved for the playing
teams, officials and staff from the International Cricket Council
(ICC), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the
Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) at Chandigarh's top level hotels
- Hotel Taj and Mountview.
"We have set aside more than 120 rooms at Mountview and 70 at
Shivalikview for PCA officials," Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism
Development Corporation (CITCO) general manager Arvind Malhotra
"In addition to this, keeping at least 15 percent of the rooms
booked for our corporate clients is a routine affair. Mostly,
these bookings run two-three months in advance," he said.
"Considering so many reservations this month, it has become
difficult to accommodate other clients. Our booking counters have
been flooded with reservation calls for the last 15 days,"
The situation is similar at Hotel Taj where the two teams would be
Nearly 70 percent of the rooms available for general visitors had
been booked two months ahead of the start of World Cup in
"Our clientele with BCCI or ICC is not a new thing," Saera Dhir,
sales and marketing head at Hotel Taj, told IANS.
"During big matches and series, it becomes difficult to cater to
the general clients. Like now, for the last one week, we have been
explaining the unavailability of rooms to at least 50 clients who
seek bookings per day," she said.
Even government guest houses, three-star and budget hotels have
all been booked by those coming for the match.
It is not only hotels in Chandigarh that have been booked for the
teams, officials, media and those coming for watching the match.
Rooms are not available even in adjoining towns of Panchkula and
The bookings at major hotels, including Bella Vista and North
Park, in Panchkula, about 15 km from here, have been done till
In fact, the North Park resort is located over 25 km from the PCA
"We could not get any bookings in Chandigarh or Mohali. The room
we got was at a resort nearly 25 km from the stadium. But we don't
mind as long as we can enjoy the excitement of the match in the
stadium," Delhi-based businessman Rohit Chopra said.