Viewers' Voice


Need for an International Convention Centre in Patna

Dr. R.P. Raman


It is well known fact that lack of good and state of art Convention Centre in Patna is a big impediment for holding important knowledge and business meets and conferences in Bihar which badly hampers the prospect of presenting Bihar to the world audience in right perspective.  Convention Centers are needed in a knowledge society for holding national and international conferences, seminars, symposia, brainstorming sessions, business meets and so on and so forth. You can utilize these facilities for holding big or small political and social meets as well. But sadly, no modern Convention facility exists in Patna today. Apart from small party halls in some hotels, the only convention centre in the city is Shri Krishna Memorial Hall which is very old and lacks modern infrastructure facilities and amenities. Hence, there is a great need for an International Convention Centre in Patna.

But the question arises as why do Bihar need convention centre(s) when tents, pandals and tarpaulin sheets are plenty to be erected in an open field ? Well, conventions are not only social gatherings; they are major economic growth engines, which contribute by attracting national and global audience and generate substantial local employment and revenues. Usually, conventions get the highest-spending tourists. In other words, they influence local tourism, handicraft sales, catering, cabs and along with other amenities of transport, tourist, crafts, and airports etc.  According to an estimate, for any international convention with 1,000 delegates, the overall economy of the city gets a Rs         3-crore benefit for a minimum of three-night stay per 1,000 delegates.

            With Kolkata attaining over saturation levels and already showing signs of ageing and decaying, Patna should be projected as the best destination in eastern part of the Indian subcontinent. As a fast emerging capital city in eastern India, Patna needs a world class Convention Centre. The importance of Patna is emerging far and wide also because of the recent establishment of IIT, Central University and also Nalanda International University in the vicinity, besides its world renowned Buddhist pilgrimage centers which attract tourists from all over the world.  Reasons are startling and many more.

In the light of above facts, it is proposed that a state of art modern convention centre like that of Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) or Dubai Convention Centre, which is one of the best in Asia, should be established in Patna on a priority basis.  Ofcourse, this requires visionary and missionary zeal, enormous planning and huge investment in infrastructure facilities that needs to be developed. But then Rome was not built in a day. Our present leadership is quite capable and visionary. Only thing required is they take notice of these startling facts and decide to execute it with determination.

We need not go much far for reference and inspiration. In India itself we have this much sought after Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) which is built on a 15-acre landscaped area. It has been built with an approximate investment of Rs 300 crores by Cyberabad Convention Centre Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between Emaar Properties and the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC). It is managed by a French hospitality and tourism management firm, Accor group.  The centre has a 6,480 sq m pillar-free internal hall, which can be partitioned into six small halls and can hold up to 400 tables in a banquet setting and 6,000 in a cocktail setting. The pre-function foyer area of 6,500 sq m offers a seating capacity for 4,000 delegates, with an additional flexibility of up to 6,500.  The main hall has an in-built rear projection screen of 18-16 ft along with the latest sound systems built into the roof to provide a concert-like experience. It has 32 halls to organize multiple meetings simultaneously. The meeting room has a 500-guest reception area, with 16 terminals for registrations. The main reception has 16 workstation back office.

In the light of above facts and figures, need we say that the capital city of Patna deserves a modern convention centre like that of HICC, Hyderabad and that too on a priority basis ?