POKHARA, May 7: The provincial government of Gandaki has received as many as 30 applications from companies interested to establish cable car service in different districts of the province.
Flooded with applications, it has signed an agreement with a private firm to study the proposals and ascertain the feasibility of the projects, according to an official of the provincial government.
The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development, Gandaki Province, signed an agreement with Ropeway Nepal on Sunday.
Secretary at the ministry Ishwor Chandra Marahatta told Republica that local units and communities have also applied to build and operate cable cars. “All the districts in the province have received applications. We will minutely study all the proposals before allowing the applicants to build and operate cable car service,” added Marahatta.
He also said that the Ropeway Nepal has been asked to stud all the applications and submit its report to the ministry.
Marahatta, however, said that the provincial government does not have any plan to build and operate cable car service on its own. “We will allow local units, local communities and private parties to operate cable car if their applications are feasible,” he added. He also said the ministry was aware of the tendency of occupying licenses like hydropower projects. “We won’t let that happen,” Marahatta clarified.
He also said that the company has been asked to review the proposals on the basis of geology of the project site, its rationale for transportation, commercial viability and possibility of acquiring land for the project, among others.
Some of the proposals are to build cable car service in Ligligkot and Gorkha Durbar of Gorkha, Gaunshahar and Rainsaskot of Lamjung, Kaskikot of Kaski, Chhimkeshwori of Tanahu, Dahare Deurali of Parbat, and Galkot and Bhairabsthan of Baglung.
“Our policy is to encourage private sector. But will not distribute license haphazardly for unfeasible projects,” Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, an engineer at the ministry, told Republica.
Cable cars are becoming a popular mode of transport for promoting tourism especially in natural, cultural and religious sites. At present, two cable car services are under construction in the province – Bandipur of Tanahu and Sarangkot of Kaski. Three more cable car projects – Panchase, Birethanti to Muktinath and Chhorepatan to World Peace Stupa – are in study phase.