GMDA fails to complete Ropeway Project before PM Modi’s Visit
GUWAHATI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government will need some more time to brag that the Guwahati ropeway project has been completed during its regime if at all the throne at New Delhi is retained by them post the 2019 elections. For now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be able to inaugurate the ropeway on 9th February simply because it is not ready.
The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has not yet completed the project fully and the passenger trial run can only start after the safety certificate is provided by one Switzerland based company.
A highly placed source in GMDA talking to G Plus said, “Garaventa Group (the world’s largest ropeway manufacturing company) from Switzerland will inspect the ropeway and provide a safety certificate; thereafter the trial run for passengers will start.” The source also revealed that the company will visit Guwahati in the middle of March.
The long-pending Guwahati passenger ropeway project connecting the two banks of Brahmaputra River was expected to be completed by February 2019 as claimed by GMDA officials in 2018. Accordingly there were assumptions that Modi would inaugurate it on 9th February during his visit to the city.
The project was earlier scheduled to be commissioned by May, 2011 with Samir Damodor Ropeways Pvt Ltd being awarded the construction work on turnkey design and execution basis in 2008.
But the work was stopped by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in February, 2011. Permission for tilt rectification of well foundation number 2 (Pillar 2) was not given at Urvashi Island.
The GMDA secured the permission in 2015, but with a condition of relocating the pillar (T-2) beyond 300 metres of Urvashi Island.
Accordingly, the pillar was constructed at the south bank (near Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner’s office), and construction work on the four other pillars have also been also completed, the GMDA source added.
The GMDA source said that though the permission to continue with the ropeway project was received from the Centre in 2015, the then state government did not immediately sanction the funds. After the present government came to power, the project was put on priority, he added.
Talking about the reasons for delay the source claimed that during monsoon season it is difficult to continue with the work due to the surging water levels, thereby causing delays. Since 2016, most of the work happened only during the dry season.
The ropeway project was assigned to GMDA in 2006 with an estimated budget of Rs 27.73 crores. RITES prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) in 2006. The foundation stone of the project was laid on 4/12/2009. Work was stalled in February, 2011 but was resumed in 2016. An extra Rs 28 crores had to be pumped in to complete the project.
At present, the RITES officials are testing the construction of the ropeway and a safety certificate will be provided by RITES as well. The passenger cabins have not yet been fitted though.
There will be two cabins with a capacity of 30 passengers each.
In this instance, GMDA might blame fund crunch and monsoon for the delays, but there has been no project in Guwahati which has ever been completed by the city development body on time.
Ropeway Project in Guwahati