D’shala-McLeodganj ropeway to be operational in June 2020
Aimed at giving a fillip to tourism and easing traffic issues during peak tourist season, the aerial ropeway connecting Dharamshala and McLeodganj is likely to be operational by 2020.
The project is being executed by the Dharamshala Ropeway Limited, a company with 76% stake of Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL).
Dharamshala Ropeway Project head colonel Suresh Pathania said the construction work is nearing completion and installation of the ropeway system will begin soon. “The project will be completed by June 2020 and we are hoping to make it operational by the given deadline,” he added.
However, sources said the project may not be fully operational in time as no progress has been made related to the parking area, which was supposed to constructed near the base terminal of the ropeway near the Dharamshala bus stand.
A small underground parking is being constructed by the executing agency at the base terminal but a bigger one was supposed to be built by the Dharamshala municipal corporation near the take-off point.
Sources said forest clearance for the proposed parking is yet to be obtained.
Officials of the Dharamshala MC said land measuring 0.6 hectares was identified for developing the parking area. “Since it is a forest land, the clearance is needed from the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) to convert the land for this project,” mayor Devinder Jaggi said.
The civic body had applied for the clearance under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, but could not obtain it due to some technical issue.
“We are in the process to apply afresh and work will be started as soon as we get the permission,” said Jaggi, adding that the parking will be constructed by the civic body itself or under the smart city project.
Meanwhile, Kangra deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar Prajapati said he has asked the concerned departments to coordinate and expedite the process so that the ropeway can be made operational by the fixed deadline.
“There is an issue related to parking at the lower terminal and the matter is under process,” he said.
The Dharamshala-McLeodganj ropeway was envisaged in 2013 and got final approval of the government on February 13, 2015. A letter was issued by the government in favour of the TRIL on June 8, 2015.
On January 16, 2016, the foundation stone of the ₹144.9 crore project was laid by the then chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
The project was supposed to be completed by the end of 2018 but was postponed due to delay in forest clearances, which were done by June 1, 2017.
A total of 2.24 hectares land was earmarked for the ropeway project out of which 1.69 hectare was forest land. As many as 439 trees were cut down for the project.
The total length of the ropeway will be 1.75km. The lower or base terminal will be near Dharamshala bus-stand and upper terminal near the Dalai Lama temple.
With as many as 13 towers, it will be a Mono-cable Detachable Gondola (cabin) System ropeway with 18-24 cabins and a capacity of ferrying 1,000 persons per hour.
The project is aimed at decongesting the twin hill-towns, primarily during the peak tourist season. The road distance between Dharamshala and McLeodganj is around 10km. However, during the tourist season sometimes it takes three or four hours to reach McLeodganj from Dharamshala due to traffic jams caused by heavy influx of vehicles.
The approximate time to reach McLeodganj by ropeway will be nine minutes.
Type: Mono-cable Detachable Gondola System
Total cost: ₹144.9 crore
Total length: 1.75km
Number of towers: 13
Number of cabins: 18-24
Capacity: 1000 person/ hour
Travel time: 9 minutes
Feb 13, 2015: Govt approves the project
June 8, 2015: Letter of Award issued to TRIL
January 16, 2016: Foundation Stone Laid
June 1, 2017: Forest Clearance granted
June 2020: Project expected to be completed.
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