The city may soon be home to world’s longest and highest ropeway between Sewri and Elephanta Island. Mumbai Port Trust—the project implementation agency—is also planning to construct a 250-meter high “city tower” mid-sea.
The proposed 8-km ropeway will connect Sewri and the island, which is famous for the Elephanta caves—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At present, tourists can access the island by ferries from Gateway of India.
According to MbPT officials, the mid-sea tower will provide a 360 degree view of the city, mudflats, mangroves and Flamingos in the season. A senior MbPT official said, “We have carried out a study to figure out the feasibility of the tower’s height and figured that it can be made 250-metre tall.”
He added, “The tower will have a viewing deck on the top, and there will be restaurants with glass a base on the lower deck. There will also be an underwater restaurant, an entertainment zone, banquet halls and other facilities.”
The official added that the ambitious tower is expected to cost over Rs300 crore. “It will take around 24 to 30 months to construct the ropeway and the tower,” he said.
MbPT has invited expressions of interest and many global companies have shown keen interest to build a three-rope cable car system. “We have received a good response from global players. It will be undertaken on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis,” said Sanjay Bhatia, chairman MbPT. At a pre-proposal meeting held last week, technological experts of companies from Austria, France and India attended the meeting. The concessionaire will operate the ropeway for 30 years.
A senior MbPT official said that there are two sites in Sewri from where the proposed ropeway can start—either Haji Bunder or from Kerosene Wharf. The travel will take approximately 14 to 15 minutes of time from Sewri to Elephanta Island by 20-seater cable car. The proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will come up in the north of both the location.