Savoy terminates VJ Construction’s contract

“We won’t be held at gun point” – V.J Patel


The Savoy Hotel still standing but construction work has stopped.

The Savoy Hotel company has fallen out with Vijay Construction, the company contracted to build the new hotel at Beau Vallon.

 The project to build a new hotel that started 9 months ago came to a standstill this week after VJ Construction removed all the building materials and personnel from the site.

LSH spoke exclusively to Mr Vijay Patel, the owner of the company to find out what happened.

Mr Patel said: “The Savoy Hotel Group felt that the existing contract was not in their favour. Their smart lawyers found some reasons to convince them to terminate our contract.”

He said that the decision came as the “biggest surprise” forcing them to stop work on both the new hotel and the Coral Strand Hotel renovation project.

“They wanted to negotiate a new contract and it was a ‘take it or leave it’ situation,” according to Mr Patel.

“There is no way we would have allowed ourselves to be held at gun point. So we decided to pack up and abandon the site,” he added. Mr Patel insisted that “money was not the issue” for the fallout, amid reports that the Russian investors had been experiencing financial troubles. Several other small contractors on the project that LSH have contacted said they were receiving late payment. There are reports that several people close to the project have recently been interviewed by the police for unclear reasons.

The Savoy Hotel project has been marred in controversy from the beginning. It was a group of Parti Lepep Members of the National Assembly, including Clifford André, Marc Naiken, Jennifer Vel and Joseph François, who called themselves VASCO who were awarded the contract to carry out the environmental assessment studies for the project. Despite public outcry they were allowed to continue.

Since the construction is being done less than 25 meters from the high water mark that is against planning regulations, there wasfear over public access to the popular beachfront area. A marsh was also reclaimed to allow for the hotel to be positioned in its present location, whilst a decision to move the annual Regatta from its traditional site at Beau Vallon to Anse Royale is still hanging.

Opponents of the development are furious with the cancellation, claiming the massive concrete structure will be an eyesore at Beau Vallon and that once again, we are being reminded that our beautiful country is at the mercy of the rich and powerful with access to those in power, who condone these crimes against the Seychellois people and their God given pristine environment.

To date only 30 % of the work has been completed on the project. LSH has tried to contact the Savoy Group but no one was available to comment.

Source: Le Seychellois Hebdo 4-27-12