To add to the attraction of upcoming Jammu Ropeway, the state government has mooted a plan to construct major "recreational points" around its terminals spanning over river Tawi from Peerkhoo area to Shahbad Colony.
As per sources, the decision in this regard was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently.
Managing Director, Cable Car Corporation-Shamim Ahmed Wani told Greater Kashmir that in the meeting attended by senior functionaries of Tourism Department, J&K CCC and Damodar Ropeways and Infra Limited-the executing agency, the Chief Minister directed to construct a resort, parking facility, viewpoints, water-bodies, parks and recreation facilities for children near the upper terminal.
"The Chief Minister has also directed to construct an MP3 theatre, water-bodies and amusement parks around the middle terminal near Mohamaya", the MD J&K CCC told Greater Kashmir.
He said that similar facilities will be created around the lower terminal near Peer Khoh area after completing the land clearances and utility shifting at the site.
Without divulging details about the cost of the proposed works, he said, "Cost will not be included in Rs 62 Crore sanctioned for the Ropeway Project".
About expected commissioning of the ropeway, he said government has set March 2018 as the targeted date for completion of the project".
However he said that they are facing problem in execution of work due to frequent rainfall and inclement weather. "We excavated the land for Middle Terminal more than five times but after every rainfall, soil gets deposited in the crater again", he said.
According to an official of Damodar Ropeways Infra Private Limited, the work on middle terminal was also delayed due to land clearance issues.
"You know, we carried all the construction material to the construction site near Middle Terminal manually, as the Forest Department was not issuing No Objection Certificate (NOC) for construction of approach road. It was done only a month ago", he said.
It is important to mention here that the idea of the ropeway project was conceived about two decades ago.
However the construction on the ground was started in 2014, several months after laying of the foundation stone in Feb 2014 by the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The Ropeway Project is being executed in two sections by Damodar Ropeways and Infra Private Limited.
Section-I from Mubarak Mandi to Mahamaya (1117 meters length) will be a monocable detachable system and Section-II from Mubarak Mandi to Bahu Fort near Shahabad (453 meters length) will be a monocable pulsated system.
On its completion, the ropeway would have 37 cabin lines from historic Mubarak Mandi Royal palace to Mahamaya Park and onward to Shahbad Bagh-e-Bahu.
Work on the upper terminal of the Ropeway Project near Shahbad Colony that will connect the Middle Terminal near Mohamaya (Section-1) is near completion and the excavation work on the Middle Terminal is also complete, while the work on the lower terminal near Peer Kho (Section-II) is yet to be taken up, sources said.
According to MD Cable Car Project, the work on the Middle Terminal is likely to be completed by October end this year.
"The executing agency as well as J&K Cable Car Corporation and Railways are discussing the drawing, construction designs and other works for the lower terminal. Soon after completion of utility shifting and payment of land compensation, we will start construction of this terminal as well" he added.