Shimla Hopes to Attract Tourists with Jakhu Ropeway

Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh in India, is expected to experience a boom in tourism following the making of a proposed Rs. 160 million cable ropeway to its highest point.

shimla-ropeway-coming-soon

Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, Timber Trail Ropeway is already a major tourist attraction.

The beautiful city surrounded by lush green mountains, forms a focal point with Mandi and Kullu in its north, Kinnaur in east, Solan and Sirmaur to its south and Uttrakhand in the south east. The state capital is flooded by tourists from remotest areas of India and abroad especially in summer. According to an official from Himachal Pradesh Tourism, the ropeway will be built 750 metre high and will connect the downtown Shimla to Jakhu, which is two kilometers away from it.

The official further revealed that the bid to build the cable ropeway has been awarded to the Jagson International Airlines. The agency assured of building the ropeway fully in accordance with recognized world safety standards, added the official. It will carry eight to 12 cables cars after being built. It is expected that the high cable ropeway will be ready by two years.

The foundation stone for cable ropeway was already laid much before, however, many environmentalists objected to removal of greenery to accommodate it. Even now many activists are protesting by blocking roads as the ropeway, if constructed would cross through pine forest area of Shimla, causing disturbance to highly rich biodiversity in the region.

Jakhu Ropeway project has finally been given green signal and most of the local people are hoping for a boost in Shimla’s economy, which is mainly based on tourism. The ropeway will be located at 8000 feet above the sea level and will form a major attraction for the tourists by presenting mesmerizing view of valleys and greenery from above.

The project has been facing many hurdles since it was proposed. Jagson International is still waiting for a final decision for beginning its commercial operations. The state high court, which had earlier stopped the company from proceeding with the construction, has now left the matter to the state government. There is also a need to regularize two additional top floors, which the court called ‘illegal.

Initially, Jagson International had proposed to lay 11 storey of the ropeway, which it later extended to 13 citing the need to avoid cutting of trees as much as possible. On this issue, the Shimla Municipal Corporation raised an issue to ask for penalty from the company over crossing the sanctioned height of 39.90m. The municipal corporation also reported the same to Himachal Pradesh town and country planning department.

However, the tourism department is very optimistic about the project, said the official, and would take a decision soon in order to remove hurdles from a boost to city’s tourism.

Jahku cable ropeway project was proposed in 1980s to join Jakhu Temple with the downtown. It was initially designed to be an aerial ropeway but its proposed height became a matter of serious concern for environmentalists. However, with efforts to encourage tourism, the government has recently given its consent on five new ropeway construction in Himachal Pradesh and with this, even people of Shimla can hope for a better shower of tourists now.