Almost six months after the annulment of the first tender, the Centre on Thursday (31 August) floated a new tender for a 1.762-km-long ropeway from Ujjain railway station to Mahakaleshwar Temple in Madhya Pradesh.
The ropeway project starts from Ujjain Junction railway station and ends at Ganesh Colony near Mahakaleshwar Temple, with intermediate station at Triveni Museum.
Indicative alignment of Mahakal ropeway project.
The National Highway Logistics Management Limited (NHLML) — a 100 per cent-owned special purpose vehicle of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), has been assigned the responsibility to develop the Mahakal ropeway project.
Earlier in October 2022, the NHLML had invited bids to build the ropeway from Ujjain Junction railway station to Mahakaleshwar Temple. However, it was later cancelled.
Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Model
The Mahakal Ropeway shall be developed on PPP model under design, build, operate and transfer basis, with an investment of Rs 153.54 crore.
The selected bidder will have to develop the project in a period of 24 months from the date of award of the contract and will be responsible for operation and maintenance of the ropeway project.
To be designed on monocable detachable gondola technology, the ropeway system shall be designed at the threshold capacity of 2,000 passengers per hour per direction.
Importance Of The Project
Ujjain located in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh is a pilgrim center and is referred to as the “City of Temples,” as there are innumerable religious sites that proffer a divine and cultural insight into the rich heritage of the city.
The city has more than 2,000 temples of which ‘Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple’ holds the prime importance, as it houses one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and is the city where Kumbh Mela occurs once in 12 years (which is also known as Simhastha).
‘Simhastha‘ signifies the movement of the planets into the zodiac of Leo or Simha. The Simhastha Mela lasts for 30 days during which there is tremendous influx of pilgrimage.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had first highlighted the need for a ropeway when Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had visited the state in February 2022, to lay foundation stones of various projects.
The project will greatly help the elderly and physically challenged devotees, the Chief Minister had said. Gadkari had asked Chouhan to work out a proposal and send it to his office at the earliest.
Following this, in October 2022, Gadkari announced plans to ease access to the Mahakal temple complex by constructing a 2-km-long ropeway from Ujjain railway station.
The ropeway planned will help passengers arriving at Ujjain railway station to reach the temple in just 5 minutes, soaring over the heavy traffic and narrow roads of the temple city.