Saturday, March 20, 2010

Girnar ropeway project unites Congress, BJP

Girnar ropeway project unites Congress, BJP
Indian Express

The proposed ropeway will have 18 cabins, each with a capacity of 8 people

The treasury and opposition benches appeared to be united in the state Assembly on Friday over the issue of construction of a ropeway over the Girnar hills.

The place is home to dozens of Hindu and Jain temples where lakhs of people from the state and outside visit every year.

During the discussions on the issue after a question raised by BJP MLA Kanubhai Bhalana, state Congress president and Dabhoi MLA Siddharth Patel said it is a project of vital importance for the development of Junagadh.

He said the project has found support from local trade and commerce organisations as well as social and cultural bodies. Patel said his party would support the government on the issue of development.

Leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil said he had personally taken up the matter with the Union Forests and Environment Minister, urging him to give clearance to the project soon.

Thanking the Congress members for their support, state Tourism Minister Jay Narayan Vyas said the project was started in July 1994. Usha Breco Limited was given the assignment to implement it at the cost of Rs 89.31 crore. The company, he said, had to construct it at its own cost and give annual royalty to the government. The royalty amount was to increase every five years.

However, the project, he said, could not take off because the Centre did not give permission owing to environmental issues.

He expressed the hope that the project would see the light of day with all political parties backing it. He said the ropeway would have 18 cabins, each with a capacity of eight people. As many as 2,000 people would be able to travel by it in one hour, he added.

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