The governments of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up a ropeway between Anandpur Sahib and Naina Devi.
The MoU signing, which coincided with the 111th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, took place in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Himachal counterpart Jai Ram Thakur.
The MoU was signed by Punjab’s Tourism and Cultural Affairs secretary Vikas Pratap and Himachal’s Tourism additional chief secretary Ram Subhag Singh.
Capt Amarinder Singh welcomed the agreement and called the signing of the MoU as “historic” as it would “prove to be mutually beneficial for both the states”.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the huge tourism potential in the region saying that it was in the interest of all the states neighbouring here to work collectively to facilitate the sector.
To be set up in the public private partnership (PPP) mode, the 3.5 km-long proposed ropeway will be beneficial to lakhs of devotees visiting these religious sites.
Jai Ram Thakur said the Himachal government had cancelled the project in 2014, however he initiated its revival after taking over and Capt Amarinder supported it. He said 25 lakh tourists visited Naina Devi every year and 80 per cent of them are from Punjab.
The Punjab Tourism department has acquired nearly 13 acres for setting up the lower terminal point (LTP) and right of way within the state’s territory for the ropeway project.
A special purpose vehicle will be set up to execute the project, which will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 250 crore.
Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry were among those present on the occasion.