In an attempt to reduce the impact of stressors to tourist towns in Himachal Pradesh, the state has announced 13 ropeways as alternative transportation. By Naina Atri
Given the stress caused to popular tourist towns by an influx of a large number of tourists, especially up in the hills, governments across the world develop mechanisms to ease such burdens. Inspired by Bolivia, the Himachal Pradesh government, in 2019, had announced its plans of introducing a new form of urban transportation to the country – the passenger ropeways system, as reported by the Hindustan Times.
Now, in 2022, the Himachal Pradesh government has announced 13 ropeways, to extend the hill-specific transportation system. According to the Times of India, the ropeways will cover 111.65 kilometres. Costs have been estimated to go upto about INR 5,644 crore. The ropeways are said to be a cheaper alternative to usual modes of transport, as well as faster. The aim is to reduce traffic on the roads and cut travel time, making them an attractive option for tourists. The project is currently conducted under the Ropeway and Rapid Transport System Development Corporation (RRTSDC), as reported by The Tribune.
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For the Kullu district, one of the most oft-visited destinations in the state, three ropeways have been planned – one from Prini to Huntur Pass, Manali (5.8 kilometres); one in Manali (11.2 kilometres); and the third one is set to link Manali and Lama Dugh, an alpine plateau and a hotspot for trekkers (2.7 kilometres).
In the Chamba district, one ropeway will connect the district to Chaugan while the second of the two planned will connect Bhanodi to Killar via the Saach Pass, which connects Chamba valley to Pangi valley. Kasauli is set to have a three kilometre ropeway, while another ropeway of the same length will connect Lunhu and Bandla of the Bilaspur district.