Austrian Technology Assistance And NDB Funding — How Shimla Is Building Its Urban Ropeway Transport


The much-awaited Rs 1,546.40 crore Shimla Ropeway Project, which ran into several delays, could soon see the light of the day, with substantial progress made in the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project.

The Ropeway and Rapid Transport System Development Corporation (RTDC), a state government corporation, has completed the drone surveys and traffic surveys. Apart from these, the geo-tech investigations and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) studies are in process and the DPR is expected to complete by 30 June 2023.

The adoption of ropeway projects at a large scale to decongest the capital city is one of the top priorities of the incumbent Congress government and it has directed RTDC to start operation of this project in the next five years.

The Project

The ropeway network will have a length of 14.9 km across the city with 15 stations from where the people could board and disembark.

It will start off from Taradevi and would have a combination of smart parking, lifts and escalators integrated with the existing transport networks.

For the 14.69-km-long ropeway project, state-of-the-art Austrian technology would be used to connect the entire town.

In this regard, a delegation led by deputy chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri, attended the “Interalpin 2023 Fair” — a world-renowned trade fair for alpine technologies, in Austria and Switzerland, to learn about ropeway transportation in the Alpine region of Europe.

The delegation visited Interalpin at Innsbruck, where world’s top manufacturers of ropeways, avalanche control equipment, snow grooming machines have exhibited their latest technology and innovation in these fields.


The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the Ministry of Finance has already given in-principal approval for an innovative urban transport ropeway project worth Rs 1,546.4 crore for Shimla city.

According to a statement made by the Deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri, 80 per cent funding for the ropeway project would be provided by the Centre and 20 per cent by the state.

The State as part its share in the project has approached the Shanghai-headquartered New Development Bank (NDB) for the funding.

It was in this regard that a delegation of NDB had a meeting with Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu in March 2023, wherein, the Chief Minister requested the Bank to expedite the sanctioning of multilateral funding for this project by the end of November, 2023.


Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, has a population of about 3.08 lakh with annual tourist influx of around 40 lakhs.

The city has narrow roads with heavy settlement, causing traffic snarls. The problem further compounds during the tourist season when thousands of tourist vehicles reach Shimla daily causing huge traffic jams.

Due to geographical and geo-technical limitations, it is not possible to construct bus rapid transit system (BRTS), monorail, or metro in the city. A ropeway, thus, is the only viable solution to provide urban transport.

The innovative ropeway project would be a game changer with tourists parking their vehicles at the entry point of Shimla and boarding the ropeway network. This eco-friendly mode of transportation will be a carbon neutral project.

Further, the fare charged on this mode of transportation would be more or less at par with the conventional transportation in order to motivate people to travel on this network instead of using their own vehicles.