The ropeway that was started two years ago on the foothills of Hari Parbat in old city of Srinagar up to Sufi shrine of Makhdoom Sahib (RA) has been lying defunct for the past five months giving a tough time to devotees.
The ropeway was inaugurated in December 2013 by the then ministers, Ali Mohammad Sagar and GA Mir. The project was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 6.5 crore. The 550-metre ropeway has been built by the Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC) through Kolkata-based Ropeway and Resorts Pvt Ltd. The four cabins, two on each side, run on the double ropeway which ferries more than 200 passengers per hour.
Though the step taken by the former government was much appreciated by the people who visited the century-old shrine, its functioning currently is creating hardships for elderly and physically disabled people, for whom it is not possible to reach to the shrine walking the long stairway.
The cable car is closed since May 17 this year after JKCCC experts during an inspection found defective components in the system.
Sources said that project was started without proper clearance. “The ropeway has been built in violation of the safety standards,” said an official.
An official of the JKCCC admitted, “The ropeway has been closed and it will restart after replacement of defective components.”
“The ropeway is under warranty. We have asked the company to replace the defective components. The ropeway will start soon,” officials said.
The officials two years ago had given much promotional hype to the project saying it would go a long way in promoting tourism-related activities in the area, besides providing an alternative means of transportation to the old and disabled people who come to pay obeisance at the revered shrine, but the current situation of the cable car has disappointed people.
The project was approved by the state government in 2010 to provide easy access to devotees to the shrine.
The government had also conducted a survey for the project through RITES, a Government of India subsidiary considered to be an authority in multi-disciplinary consultancy organisation in the fields of transport, infrastructure and related technologies.
The horizontal length of the ropeway is 541 metres with four cabins in each cluster with a capacity and design of 225 at maximum speed of 4m/sec.