The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to build ropeways across the harsh hilly regions of northeastern India to overcome transportation problems, thereby developing robust infrastructure and multimodal connectivity.
“Developing an efficient transport network is a big challenge in hilly areas. Rail and air transport networks are limited in these areas, while the development of the road network presents technical challenges. In this context, cable cars have become a practical and safe alternative mode of transport. – said Monday the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Union.
Recently, during the presentation of the Union Budget for 2022-23, the Union Finance Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the National Ropeway Development Program – “Parvatmala” will be launched in public-private partnership mode (PPP).
This model will be a preferred environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional roads in difficult hilly areas.
It will improve connectivity and promote tourism, reducing crowds along congested urban areas.
“Contracts for 8 cable car projects with a length of 60 km would be awarded in 2022-23. The program is currently being launched in regions like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir and other northeastern states. – announced the Minister of Finance of the Union.
Meanwhile, proposals have also been received from the governments of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir for cable car development.
According to BEEP report, some of the major factors driving this cable car infrastructure include –
1. Economic mode of transport : Since ski lift projects are built in a straight line on hilly terrain, this also results in lower land acquisition costs. Therefore, despite having a higher construction cost per km than roads, the construction cost of cable car projects can be more economical than roads.
2. Faster mode of transport : Due to the aerial mode of transportation, ropeways have an advantage over road projects where ropeways can be built in a straight line, over hilly terrain.
3. Ecological : Low dust emissions. Material containers can be designed to exclude environmental contamination.
4. Last mile connectivity : Ski lift projects adopting 3S (a kind of cable car system) or equivalent technologies can carry 6,000-8,000 passengers per hour.
In addition, the ministry also cited some of the main advantages of cable cars:
1. Ideal for difficult/difficult/sensitive terrain.
2. Long spans of rope : The system easily overcomes obstacles such as rivers, buildings, ravines or roads.
3. Guided ropes on towers : Small footprint, and no barrier for humans or animals.
4. This mode of transport will allow the mobility of people living in difficult areas and help them to integrate with the general public. Villagers/farmers living in these areas will be able to sell their products in other areas, which will help them increase their income.
5. Economy : Cable car having several cars propelled by a single power plant and a single drive mechanism. This reduces both construction and maintenance costs. The use of a single operator for an entire cable car represents an additional saving in terms of labor cost. On flat ground, the cost of cable cars is competitive with narrow gauge railways; in the mountains the cable car is far superior.
6. Soft : Transport of different materials – A cable car allows the simultaneous transport of different types of materials.
seven. Ability to handle large slopes : Cable cars and cable cars (cable cranes) can withstand steep slopes and large height differences. Where a road or railway needs switchbacks or tunnels, a cable car travels directly along the fall line. Old cliffside railways in England and cable cars at ski resorts in the mountains take advantage of this feature.
8. Small footprint : The fact that only narrow-based vertical supports are required at intervals, leaving the rest of the ground free, allows the construction of cable cars in built-up areas and in places where there is intense competition for land use.