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Posted at: Jun 11, 2019, 7:01 AM; last updated: Jun 11, 2019, 10:24 AM (IST)

Tutikandi ropeway project awaits NOC

Airports Authority of India yet to give nod | Project hanging fire for 4 yrs
Tutikandi ropeway project awaits NOC

ldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 10

The Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) awaits a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for the ambitious Rs 250 crore Tutikandi-Jodha Niwas ropeway project.

Aimed at de-congesting the city, the ropeway will generate a revenue of Rs 10.62 crore per annum, but has been hanging fire for the last four years. “The SMC has already got approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change, but the civic body is awaiting the NOC,” Pankaj Rai, Municipal Commissioner.

“Secretary, Urban Development, has sent a letter to the AAI and the CPWD. We hope they will give the NOC soon and the final environmental clearance will come from the Centre by November this year,” he added.

“The SMC needs to raise towers to carry cable cars at different points for which the AAI’s NOC is required,” said project director Ravi Kapur.

“We need the NOC from the CPWD as it owns the part of the land at the Tutikandi parking complex,” he added.

The cost of the ropeway project has increased to Rs 250 crore from Rs 200 crore. The then Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, had laid the foundation stone on June 23, 2015, on his birthday even as the SMC had no environmental clearance from the ministry at that time, sources said.

The 2.8-km ropeway will decongest Cart Road and the SMC will earn Rs 10.62 crore per annum from the ropeway, which will be hiked by 5 per cent every year as per the agreement signed between the SMC and the company for 40 years. But the company has neither deposited Rs 8 crore as the earnest money nor has it opened its office in the city, citing lack of project clearance from the state government. The cable cars will carry about 1,000 commuters to and fro in an hour time and the company has targeted about 15 lakh passengers in a year. The SMC had assigned the project to Usha Branco Limited (UBL) in 2015, which was to complete the project on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode in a two-and-half years.

Rai said it was a two-stage project. The first leg is the Jodha Niwas-HP Tourism Lift section and the second in the HPTDC Lift-Tutikandi, where the government has opened a multi-storey parking complex.

The ropeway will connect the Tutikandi inter-state bus terminus with The Mall Road near Jodha Niwas. Visitors can take another detour to the Jakhu temple on the Jhakhu ropeway, which started operating in 2014-14-15.

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