A total of 38 ropeway projects have been proposed by Maharashtra state government for consideration under Parvatmala Yojana.
The proposals are mainly from Mumbai, Satara, Raigad, Nashik, Nanded, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, besides five projects from Pune.
Some of the proposals will entail providing ropeway connectivity to major tourist destinations such as Sinhagad Fort and Rajgad Fort, Shivneri Fort, Darya Ghat and Lenyadri Ashtavinayak at Junnar in Pune.
Earlier in 2022, Maharstara had proposed 20 projects after the Centre sought proposal from all states for consideration under Parvatmala Yojana, but added new ropeway plans to the list, thereby, taking the tally to 38.
According to information given by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, a total of 256 ropeway proposals came from all states.
“Ropeways are no longer looked upon as a tool to promote tourism. They are now a mode of urban transport to improve connectivity. Maharashtra’s ropeway proposal list is among the longest,” said a State PWD official in-charge of compiling the list of the proposed ropeway.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting Union Budget for 2022-23, had announced the National Ropeways Development Programme “Parvatmala”.
The ropeway will be a preferred, ecologically sustainable alternative in place of conventional roads in difficult hilly areas. The idea is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism.
The ropeway can be used to connect pilgrim places and may also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit systems are not feasible.
The National Highway Logistics Management Limited (NHLML) — a 100-percent-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) — has been assigned to develop ropeway projects under the scheme in the country.
According to the agreement, the central government would bear the execution cost of the cleared projects, while the state government would provide the land required for the project.
Four Projects Under Implementation
Of the 38 proposed projects, the state-owned NHLML has already started the work to set up four ropeway projects at over Rs 1,000 crore.
While, the nitty-gritty of three projects – Rajgad fort in rural Pune, Matheran hill station and Mahad in Raigad district are being worked out, bids have been invited to build a new ropeway from Brahmagiri to Anjaneri Hills in Trimbakeshwar at Nashik.
The Brahmagiri-Anjaneri Hills ropeway will connect both these important places atop the respective hills, which are separated by a distance of around 7 km.
Trimbakeshwar, located about 30 km from Nashik city, hosts one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. While Brahmagiri is the origin of the Godavari River, Anjaneri is believed by some to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman.
The 5.76-km-long ropeway shall be developed on PPP model under design, build, operate and transfer (DBOT basis) with an investment of Rs 376.73 crore.
Connecting the two destinations will provide numerous benefits to the pilgrims. Currently, they have to trek one mountain for a day and then spend another day trekking the second mountain.
By establishing a connection between the two places, the journey time will be reduced significantly. Moreover, it will provide the pilgrims with an exotic view of the Western Ghats that is sure to leave them awestruck.