Varanasi, India (Urban Transport News): Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and dedicated development projects worth more than Rs 1780 crores in Varanasi, today.
In the last nine years, the Prime Minister has put a special focus on transforming the landscape of Varanasi and enhancing the ease of living for the people living in the city and adjoining areas. Taking another step in this direction, he laid the foundation stone of the Passenger Ropeway from Varanasi Cantt station to Godowlia. The cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 645 crores. The ropeway system will be 3.75 km in length with five stations. This will facilitate ease of movement for the tourists, pilgrims and residents of Varanasi.
Addressing the public gathering, Prime Minister highlighted the new development projects related to tourism and the beautification of the city. “Be it roads, bridges, railways or airports, the connectivity to Varanasi has completely eased”, the Prime Minister said as he pointed out that the new ropeway project will take the connectivity in the city to a new level. He noted that it will boost the facilities of the city along with creating a new attraction for tourists.
He informed that the distance between Banaras Cantt Railway station and Kashi-Vishwanath Corridor will be covered within minutes after the completion of the ropeway while also easing traffic congestion in areas between Cantt Station and Godowlia.
In December 2022, the National Highways Logistics Management Ltd (NHLML) awarded a contract worth Rs 807 crore (US$1.6 million) to Vishwa Samudra Engineering Private Limited, which has secured the technology and equipment supply from a Swiss firm that specialises in ropeway systems, for building 3.85 km Urban Ropeway Project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The contract order includes 15-years maintenance of ropeway system after commissioning.
This would be India's first 'urban ropeway' project to be built in Varanasi which is likely to start operations from May 2025. The work on this project will likely to start by May 2023.
The urban ropeway system will reduce the travel time between the Cantonment railway station and Godowalia Chowk, one of the most congested stretches, to barely 17 minutes. At present, the same distance could take more than an hour if there is traffic congestion.
According to the design, five stations will come up on this Ropeway project at Varanasi Cantonment, Vidya Peeth (Bharatmala Mandir), Rath Yatra, Girja Ghar and Godowlia Chowk. Girja Ghar will be only a technical station where Boarding or Deboarding will not be allowed. A total of 30 towers will be built for the ropeway and the height of the towers will vary from 10 meters to 55 meters.
The NHLML will decide the ticket price for ropeway users. A policy on the ticketing will be framed as the Centre has planned to roll out several such ropeway projects across the country in urban areas and to connect tourist places.
The connectivity project has been designed with a maximum capacity to carry 3,000 passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD) with a total operation time of 16 hours per day. It is capable of carrying passenger load of about 96,000 passengers per day in both directions. Around 153 gondolas or cabins would be deployed on this stretch and each gondola will have the capacity to carry 10 passengers.