Monday, June 01, 2009

European experts undertake Girnar ropeway survey

European experts undertake Girnar ropeway survey
Times of India

JUNAGADH: Promoters of 'Udan Khatola', the ambitious ropeway project of Girnar, have begun a pre-project survey of the mountains. The decades-old  
project, which has yet to see the light of day, has shown some signs of a headway with this survey.

"Girnar ropeway project has finally been revived," said Dipak Kapilesh, western regional head of Usha Breco, promoter of the company. "A nine-member team has started a six-day survey from April 2. The team consists of experts from Doppelmayr, a leading Austrian ropeway company with which we've collaborated. The company has major market share and has laid 150 ropeways in Europe last year," he said.

"We want to make Girnar ropeway project of international standard.

"So far, the survey has covered upper and lower stations. On Saturday, we undertook ropeway's central line survey and design work," Kapilesh said. "Till the final clearance, we will not be allowed to touch the grounds. So till then, we are completing the initial survey and design work," he said.

Planned in 1968, the project has been delayed for various reasons since its foundation stone was laid by Chief Minister Narendra Modi in May 2007. But, after Girnar forest covering around 180 sq km and including Mount Girnar was declared wildlife sanctuary on May 31, 2008, the project went for approval to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Recently, Usha Breco Ltd was asked to identify alternate routes as the land it has got is located in Girnar wildlife sanctuary.

Asked about the clearance, Kapilesh said, "We will obtain environment clearance certificate from the ministry by June-July, and then we will start the project work," he added. "We have submitted detailed report and environmental assessment reports to GPCB and expect to get a clearance. As for the alternate route, we have suggested the best possible route to the ministry that will cause minimal damage to the environment," he said.

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