The Madhya Pradesh government is planning to turn the historic Lalbag Palace into a heritage hotel.
Taking a cue from Rajasthan, where havelis and palaces have been converted into hotels, the MP State Tourism Development Corporation is working on the proposal. Several bidders, including the Welcome Heritage Hotel group, has submitted their plans to take up the palace for conversion into a hotel.
MPSTDC chairman Nitish Bharadwaj, when contacted, said: "The decision about the palace will be taken within a month. The heritage hotel is one of the propositions, but a consensus will be built by holding talks with officers and local politicians before taking any decision."
He, however, added that public-private partnership was the best solution to maintain any heritage site.
The palace is in shambles due to funds shortage. Its communication links have been snapped for the past one and a half months. Its telephone has been disconnected due to non-payment of bills amounting to a mere Rs 3,000.
Electricity bills to the tune of Rs 45,000 too have not been paid. Though MPSEB has not served notice to the palace authorities, they fear that the palace's electricity connection might be cut off if the bill is not paid soon.
Absence of funds is cited to be the reason for the palace being in a shambles. The Archaeology Department of Indore division has not received any fund from the current state Budget. Archaeology Department Deputy Director, V P Nagaich, however, says that the allocation for the next eight months would be made soon.The Holkar Palace has been in the news for the all the wrong reasons in the past few days. The roads inside the palace turned into natural drainage due to heavy rains.