Mumbai: Around 500 girls from colleges in Jammu and Kashmir on a tour around the country recently had a miserable experience at a hotel in Mumbai city. Not only were the rooms dirty and stinky and the arrangements shoddy, they felt unsafe as reviews mentioned a sex racket and photos of nude women were found on the phone of an employee, the Times of India reported.
Around 800 students had started on the Gyanodaya Express, also known as ‘college on wheels’, from Katra in Jammu on 19 November and reached Mumbai five days later.
“A total of 500 students were put up at Royal Palms Hotel in Goregaon and others were given rooms in a hotel in Saki Naka. However, dinner arrangements were made for all students at Royal Palms,” said Prof. Rajesh Singh, who was accompanying the students.
They found the hotel below par, especially after their experiences at Delhi and Ahmedabad. “The rooms were stinky. The bed sheets had stains and made the students extremely uncomfortable,” said Singh. The students had
searched online for reviews about the hotel and freaked out after they came across news that a high profile sex racket had been busted at Royal Palms.
Dinner was to be served for 800, but the table arrangement was for only 100, leading to chaos. When dinner was on, the lights went off for 20-25 minutes,” he added. At first the students thought it was a power failure, but they found out the lights had been switched off to move away a few “guests who may have been involved in shady activities”.
An argument erupted with the staff, and an employee started recording it. The students snatched the mobile to erase the recording, and in the process found nude photos that added to their anxiety. Requests were made for mattresses as everyone opted to sleep in the corridor, but it was turned down. “We had a torrid experience and none of us could sleep the whole night,” said Singh.
Calls and messages left for Dilawar Nensey, one of the owners of Royal Palms, went unanswered.
The IRCTC has partnered with the J&K Higher Education Council to execute the project. The tour is funded by the J&K government that has spent Rs 4.8 crore, added Singh.
IRCTC chairman and managing director Seema Kumar said: “We have launched an inquiry. Strict action will be taken against not only the contractor but also our employees. This is on the top of our agenda.”