Aerial ropeway connects Dharamshala to McLeodganj
The Dharamshala Skyway, an aerial ropeway connecting the tourist destinations of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj, was inaugurated on Wednesday.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur inaugurated the ₹207 crore skyway, which is likely to reduce traffic congestion and boost tourism at the tourist destination. “The project was developed as a public-private-partnership project by Dharamshala Ropeway Limited and Himachal Pradesh’s tourism and civil aviation department,” the CM said.
In peak tourist season it may take several hours to travel from Dharmashala to McLeodganj, however the skyway has cut travel time to just nine minutes.
The skyway, which has a mono-cable detachable gondola (cabin) system, with 18 gondolas and a capacity of ferrying 1,000 persons per hour.
Covid norms tossed to the wind
While the common man is being penalised for not following coronavirus guidelines, the politicians were seen flouting rules with abandon. Even the CM, who just a day ago had hinted at imposing strict curbs, was seen without mask while posing for a selfie during the inaugural ride. Social justice and empowerment minister Sarveen Chaudhary, industry minister Bikram Thakur, Rajya Sabha Member Indu Goswami, Dharamshala MLA Vishal Nehria and a Ropeway Company official were in the same gondola, all of them smiling sans masks for the camera.
Chaos prevailed at the terminal as people violated the social distancing norms and jostled against each other to avail a free ride. Amid all this, cops and administrative officers were mute spectators.
Fare too high: Residents
Residents were sceptical about whether the skyway will be able to meet its primary objective of reducing congestion as the ride does not come cheap. A one-way ticket will cost ₹300, while a two-way ride will cost ₹500. Former minister Sudhir Sharma, who had conceived the idea, also joined issue saying, “Why would people shell so much money on a skyway ride, when five people can go to and fro in a cab for just ₹200? Locals will also prefer private vehicles over the aerial ropeway.”
Type: Mono-cable detachable gondola system
Cost: ₹144 crore
Number of cabins: 18
Cabin capacity: 8
Capacity: 1,000 person/ hour (one side)
Travel time: 9 minutes
One-way ticket: ₹300
Two-way ticket: ₹500
Feb 13, 2015: Government approves the project
June 8, 2015: Letter of award issued
January 16, 2016: Foundation stone laid
June 1, 2017: Forest clearance granted
January 19, 2022: Ropeway inaugurated
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