No headway in sight for Patnitop ropeway project
EAC rejects DPR, puts conditions for clearance
Jammu, Dec 12: Already hanging in balance for last four years, there seems no headway in sight for the Patnitop ropeway project as the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Union Environment Ministry has held back its clearance on finding the Detailed Project Report (DPR) lacking on various counts.
Sources said that dissatisfied with the Project Report (DPR) submitted by the Patnitop Development Authority (PDA), EAC has refused to give its clearance till the officials meet certain guidelines.
They said that while the 2.6 km ropeway project has already faced much delay due to the tussle among various government departments, the refusal by EAC has almost grounded the project.
“It (EAC) has clearly told the PDA that if its fails to meet the guidelines, necessary approval will not been given” sources added.
They said that EAC has asked the project promoter to first obtain permission for the cutting of more than 100 trees from the local forest authority and carry out compensatory afforestation in the area.
Similarly, PDA has been asked to ensure that there will be no commercial activity near the terminal stations after they are established and there should be proper mechanism for collection and disposal of solid waste as per the rules.
“Besides, it (PDA) will have to ensure public conveniences and rest areas at the terminal stations, disaster management and installation of DG sets in compliance with the guidelines of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) standards”, said an official.
“Now the question remains will the government take sincere steps to meet the guidelines so that ropeway projects become a reality. It has been marred by apathy since the project was initiated”, said an official source.
As per the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the project involves construction and operation of a passenger aerial ropeway project starting from Kud, Sangote and Karla. The total length of the ropeway will be 2.6 kilometer with 23 trolleys.
A senior bureaucrat said that the project was taken up in haste as none of the formalities were completed by the government despite its inauguration by the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2007.
“Foundation stone was laid without getting necessary clearance from various departments particularly the Forest Department”, said a source.
Pertinently, on August 9, 2007, the government had entered into an agreement with the Nagarjuna Construction Company to construct ropeway project at Patnitop. The project, if completed would have been the first ever venture in the tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir with 100 per cent financial support from a private player.
The company was to invest more than Rs 90 crore under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) mode.
Under the agreement, the company had to construct resorts, fountains, parks, besides the ropeway in the adjoining tourism potential areas. Some resorts and picnic spots would be constructed in adjoining localities like Sudhmahadev, Chenani, Mantalai and Kud, with a view to boost the economy of the inhabitants of these backward areas.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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