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PARVATMALA SCHEME: INDIA’S AMBITIOUS ROPEWAY PROJECT



  Jun 25, 2024

PARVATMALA SCHEME: INDIA’S AMBITIOUS ROPEWAY PROJECT



Overview of Ropeways in India

Ropeways, also known as aerial lifts, cable cars, or chair lifts, are public transportation systems where cabins, gondolas, or open chairs are hauled above the ground using cables. They are particularly beneficial in mountainous areas where building roads or railways is challenging and expensive.

Parvatmala Scheme

The Parvatmala Scheme, also known as the “mountain garland scheme,” is the world’s largest ropeway project. This initiative aims to spend ₹1,250 billion (US$15 billion) in public-private partnership (PPP) mode over five years until 2030. The goal is to build 200 new ropeway projects covering more than 1,200 km. These projects will help decongest traffic in narrow roads of big cities and provide cheaper connectivity in mountainous and tourist areas.

Significance of Ropeways in India

• Geographical Advantage: With 30% of India covered by mountains, ropeways are a practical solution for transportation, offering lower costs and higher return on investment (ROI).
• First Ropeway: The Rajgir Ropeway in Bihar, a 333m-long chairlift ropeway built in the 1960s, is India’s first ropeway.
• Longest Ropeways: As of 2024, the Auli Ropeway in Uttarakhand is India’s longest at 4 km, and the under-construction Mussoorie-Dehradun Ropeway will be the longest in India upon completion at 5.5 km.
• Urban Ropeway: The Kashi Ropeway is India’s first urban ropeway and the world’s third urban public transport ropeway.

Government Initiatives

• Project Expansion: The government plans to increase the number of projects under the Parvatmala Pariyojana to at least 400 in the next five years.
• Cost and Support: The government will provide 60% construction support under hybrid annuity mode (HAM for Ropeways) compared to 40% for national highways to attract private players. States will provide the land, and no environmental clearance will be needed.
• Focus on Viability: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari emphasized making ropeways economically viable by reducing project costs and encouraging PPPs.
• Indigenous Development: There is a focus on developing indigenous and cost-efficient solutions without compromising on safety, promoting the manufacturing of ropeway components under the Make in India initiative.

Recent Developments

• Awarded Projects: The ministry awarded the Bijli Mahadev Ropeway project in Himachal Pradesh and the Dhosi Hill Ropeway project in Haryana.
• Collaboration: National Highways Logistics Management signed an MoU with IIT Roorkee to create a center of excellence for ropeways and other innovative mobility systems.

Economic and Social Impact

• Tourism and Job Creation: Ropeways have immense potential to boost tourism and create jobs.
• Economic Growth: The initiative aligns with India’s goal to become a $5 trillion economy and aims to be the third-largest economy by focusing on time-bound, cost-efficient, qualitative, and sustainable infrastructure development.

Conclusion

The Parvatmala Scheme is set to revolutionize transportation in India, especially in mountainous regions, by providing an efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly mode of transport. It holds promise for significant economic and social benefits, enhancing connectivity and promoting sustainable development.


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