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From Dharamshala to Mcleodganj: Ropeway to link Dalai Lama’s abode

Archana Phull | Shimla |

The ropeway connecting Dharamshala town with Mcleodganj, the abode of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh is one year away.

The construction work on 1.8 kilometre long ropeway between the two hill stations is set to start within a week, according to officials.

A large number of domestic and foreign tourists throng Mcleodganj every year to visit the Tibetan monastery and seek Dalai Lama’s blessings.

The road distance between Dharamshala and Mcleodganj is around 9 km and it normally takes 45 minutes to travel up in routine. The time to cover the distance increases to almost two hours in the peak tourist season.

The ropeway, when in place, would reduce this time to eight minutes.

“We have already got the mandatory environment clearance from the Centre. The construction will start in a week’s time and we are hopeful that it gets ready for operation in one year,” Amitabh Sharma, Joint Director with the Dharamshala Ropeways Ltd, the executing agency.

The 145 Crore ropeway project is being built along the ridge line form the Dharamshala bus stand is taken u in joint venture with Ski Himalayas and Tata company. Thirty two ‘gondolas’ will simultaneously operate on this ropeway. The Ski Himalayas had earlier executed the ropeway in Solang valley in Kullu district, connecting Solang ground to Patru, which has been running for seven years now.

Sharma, who is Managing Director with the Ski Himalaya, said the company’s bigger ropeway project connecting other popular tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh, Manali and Rohtang (13050 ft) will, however, take atleast four years to come into operation.

“The road distance between Manali and Rohtang is 51km. The beginning point of the ropeway would be Kothi ahead of Manali and it will be in three states from Kothi-Gulaba-Marhi to Rohtang,” he said. He said this ropeway would close at the top station (Rohtang) in winters.

The Rs 450 Crore ropeway will have eight kilometres distance covered in 35 minutes till Rohtang.

The project involves difficulties in the environment clearances with National Green Tribunal (NGT) taking serious view of the ecological degradation in the area due to tourism activity.

“The government is promoting ropeways by encouraging investors to come to the state. Certain projects are in the offing, including the one to Bijli Mahadev on the hill top in Kullu which is visited by many people,” said Industries minister, Mukesh Agnihotri.

HP earlier had just one ropeway for tourists at Parwanoo in Solan district for long. The ropeway conecting highest Jakhu peak in Shimla was operationalised last week.