Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India] Apr. 11 : Almost ten years after hanging in fire, finally the Shimla-Jakhu ropeway has been inaugurated to link the mall road to 8,000 feet high Jakhu hill in Shimla.
Incepted in 2007, the project saw many ups and downs and took at least ten years for commencement of the town's first ropeway.
At the time of inception, the project was envisaged to be commissioned by 2008-2009 but ran out in rough weather.
Initially 11 storeys were proposed but the company had increased it to 13 storeys citing that raising the height would avoid the fall or lopping of trees.
The matter was dragged into the court even before starting the construction of ropeway. Himachal High Court Division Bench comprising then Chief Justice Vinod Kumar Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol directed the government to accord sanction after doubts were cleared.
The project has been carried out by Jagson International Limited. It had also obtained the green clearance for lopping trees so that cable cars can run smoothly. The company ran many trials and during the same, eight trolleys were crashed down in 2015. Each cable car weighs about 480 kg. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh inaugurated the ropeway project that was completed with an outlay of Rs.
40 crore. "It is my dream project that is one of its kinds in the state. It would further give boost to the tourism industry," he said. Hotelier Association president Harman Kukreja said that the ropeway would benefit the tourism industry of the state.
"The project was pending since long and now it has been commissioned. Tourists have now a new thing to experience in Shimla," he said. However the taxi operators have feared the losses. "Tourists used to hire taxis from Mall road to Jakhu hill and now the business will get a blow for sure," Pawan Sharma, a taxi operator said.
Jakhu cable ropeway project was proposed in 1980s to join Jakhu Temple with Shimla and its foundation stone was laid by Singh in July 2007.