Ropeway across Wayanad Ghat road in pipeline

A ride to remember:The ropeway will facilitate transport of 500 passengers per hour across the ghat road in 15 minutes.

DPR on the Rs. 70-crore scheme to be ready in two weeks; Kozhikode and Wayanad DTPCs to be key partners in the project.

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) will be ready in two weeks, giving a fresh impetus to the proposed ropeway project across the Wayanad ghat road linking Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. Damodar Ropeways and Infra Limited, a Kolkata-based company, will be preparing the DPR for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs. 70 crore.

The Wayanad Chamber of Commerce (WCC) and the District Tourism Promotion Councils of Kozhikode and Wayanad districts have stepped in as the key partners in the project. The cost of preparing the DPR, which will be around Rs. 10 lakh, will be borne by a newly constituted public limited company, Western Ghat Development Limited, in which the WCC members are the main investors.

“With the support of the district administrations and the Forest department, we have successfully completed a technical survey in around 3.6 km of the project area. The DPR will be prepared on the basis of this technical survey,” said E.P. Mohandas, general secretary of the WCC. “In the next phase, we will be approaching the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for environmental clearance,” he said. Discussions were also on to set up spacious ropeway stations in both the districts. At least one acre of land would have to be identified in each district to set up the station. WCC leaders said they were in touch with the Puthuppadi grama panchayat authorities to get the required land in Kozhikode district. In Wayanad, the station would come up in Vythiri village, where three convenient locations had already been identified for the project, they say.

Binoy Venugopal, secretary of the Kozhikode District Tourism Promotion Council, said the two districts would equally share the responsibility of implementing the project. “Soon after getting the DPR, we will be holding a joint meeting of the implementing committee in Kozhikode,” he said. Forest Department officials were also confident of the speedy realisation of the project as it would not create any environmental issues and pollution threats. The department gave permission for the technical survey after finding it as the most viable option for a parallel transit system across the ghat road.

Divisional Forest Officer K.K. Sunilkumar told The Hindu on Saturday that there would not be any objection from the Forest Department to the project. “Once the DPR is ready, it can be forwarded for the final clearance of the higher authorities,” he said.

Seeking the support of the Union government, the WCC, along with the other partners, is also planning to meet Union Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam. If the project became a reality, it would help travellers to skip the time-consuming ghat road journey and negotiate the stretch in 15 minutes, they said, adding that the ropeway would have a transport capacity of 400 to 500 passengers per hour.

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