Over two years after foundation stone, Shimla roepway yet to take off
SHIMLA: The ambitious ropeway project to decongest traffic in Shimla town has failed to take off as land free from all encumbrances has not been made available to the company allotted the project. Delay in handing over the land has forced the Municipal Corporation to give six months extension to the company to start the work.
According to sources, work on this ambitious project was estimated to start in June last year but till date it has not as the project file is still moving from one table to another to complete the formalities.
On June 23, 2015, Virbhadra Singh had laid the foundation stone of Rs 200 crore passenger rope-way at Jodha Niwas near the Ridge in Shimla. The passenger ropeway would connect the town from Tourist Information Centre to ISBT Tuttikandi to Lift and will finally connect the Ridge near Jodha Niwas. It will have four terminal stations. The total length of the ropeway will be 3600 meters. The project was supposed to be completed within three and half years.
The project was allotted to Usha Breco Limited and will transport 1000 passengers per hour per direction. From this project, municipal corporation would earn an estimated income of Rs 10.62 crore annually with an incremental increase of five percent every year which would be utilized for development of Shimla town.
Sources said that to speed the process to get clearances, the then Shimla Deputy Commissioner Dinesh Malhotra in November 2015 had held a meeting with the officials of various concerned departments and had directed them to complete the formalities for the completion of ISBT Tutikandi-Jodha Niwas ropeway project in time. Malhotra had asked the departments including officials from Forest, Revenue, Irrigation, Public Works and Tourist departments to prepare the NOCs at the earliest and in time.
Since this meeting, a year has passed but there is no headway in the ropeway project that otherwise would have reduced the pressure on circular road.
Shimla Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar said that project has not been started yet as land free from encumberances has not been provided to the company executing the project. He said even forest clearances is awaited. He said company has been given extension to start the project as departments are delaying the clearances.