Govt to invest Rs 1.25 lakh crore to build 200 ropeway projects: Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said on Tuesday that the government has identified more than 200 projects at a cost of Rs 1.25 lakh crore to be taken up in the next five years under the National Ropeways Development Programme, ‘Parvatmala Pariyojana’.

Addressing the ‘Ropeway: Symposium-Cum-Exhibition’ here, the minister said, “Our foremost priority should be to make ropeways economically viable by bringing down the overall project cost and encourage public private partnership to develop the ropeway network in the country.”

He said apart from facilitating tourism in the hilly areas, ropeways offer huge potential in urban public transport as well. The focus should be on developing indigenous and cost-efficient solutions without compromising safety.

The highlights of the day were the award of two ropeway projects — Bijli Mahadev Ropeway Project in Himachal Pradesh, and Dhosi Hill Ropeway Project in Haryana.

An MoU was also signed at the event by NHLML and IIT Roorkee for creating a centre of excellence for ropeways and other innovative alternative mobility systems.

Gadkari said the priority is to bring standardisation of existing policies and codes and transform the ropeway industry by encouraging the manufacturing of ropeway components under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The minister said 60 per cent construction support is provided under Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) for ropeways as compared to 40 per cent support provided under National Highways to attract more private players for development of ropeways under ‘Parvatmala Pariyojana’.

The objective of the symposium-cum-exhibition is to enable industry collaborations between various Indian and global manufacturers, technology providers, concessionaires and infrastructure developers.

The event also provided a common platform for industry deliberation to promote ‘Make in India’ and develop a roadmap for localisation of ropeway components. Various panel discussions with industry experts were also held on building safer and affordable ropeway systems, while improving ropeway industry landscape and enhancing public private partnerships in India.

A session on promoting wayside amenities to improve public convenience was also held. In addition, the exhibition demonstrated state-of-art ropeway technologies by Indian and global ropeway equipment manufacturers in the aerial mobility ecosystem.

The day long event provided key insights and helped identify areas for development of policies to promote indigenous manufacturing and enhance capacity and capability of ropeway technology.

The symposium also underlined the pivotal role ropeways will play in the growth of Indian economy by enabling development of safer, cost-effective and sustainable mode of transportation under the National Ropeways Development Programme.