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Cable cars: Uttarakhand, J&K, NE in focus

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New Delhi, November 5: State-owned Wapcos Ltd on November 5 signed an MoU with Indian arm of Austria-based Doppelmayr India Pvt Ltd to start passenger ropeways or cable cars in India. The move is expected to resolve traffic congestion and last mile connectivity issues in the country.
“Every year, growth in the automobile industry is 22% but the biggest problem is that we have the highest number of road accidents in the world also. So, this is the time for our country to find alternative solutions for traffic jams and air pollution,” said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways.
Terming them “transportation of New India”, Gadkari said that passenger ropeways are the best solution we can have in our country at the moment to ease traffic congestion.
Doppelmayr India will help Wapcos to set up passenger ropeways in India coupled with undertaking feasibility studies, preparing detailed project reports (DPRs), constructing the ropeway, supplying the requisite equipment and undertaking O&M operations.
The Austrian company is the world’s largest ropeway / cable car manufacturing company enjoying more than 60 per cent of the total market share. It operates in more than 95 countries in the world.
Gadkari said that Wapcos will do feasibility study to recognise areas where passenger cable cars can be set up in India.
“We are looking at all the states wherever it is possible… States can nominate their desired spots and communicate them to Wapcos… They will do their feasibility and technical study and take things forward,” Gadkari said, adding that Uttarakhand has already nominated 14 spots.
Satpal Maharaj, Tourism minister, Uttarakhand said states like Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and other regions with difficult terrain can reap benefits from this system. Even densely clustered Chandni Chowk in Delhi can be made accessible through cable cars, officials believe.
Gadkari said that once the system is well established, further money for investment can be raised through hybrid annuity or build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, used in road construction.
“There is no investment under land acquisition and we have surplus thermal and hydropower which can be used… We will suggest this to all the states… On nomination basis, they (states) will appoint Wapcos and prepare DPR for that… Wapcos will provide the technology… State governments can arrange land and provide energy. For tender, annuity or BOT technique can be adopted,” he said.
Thus, technology will be provided by a government entity, construction will be done by a government entity, nomination will be done by states and only investment by private players can be done via different modes, he said. (Agencies)

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