Yamunotri ropeway project okayed

Relief to lakhs of Char Dham pilgrims as travel time to the shrine will reduce substantially

Published: 17th February 2023 07:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2023 07:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service
  • Cost of project  1,200 crores
  • Length of Ropeway  3,846 metres
  • Time to reach  10-15 mins
  • Carrying capacity: 4,000 pilgrims in a day

DEHRADUN:  The Centre has approved the long-awaited ropeway project at Yamunotri -- one of the four ‘dhams’ of Uttarakhand. The 3.7-km ropeway from Kharsali to Yamunotri will not only reduce the distance to the Himalayan shrine but also provide great relief to pilgrims, especially the elderly, from undertaking the arduous journey of around 5 km.

District Tourism Officer Rahul Choubey said, the foundation stone for the Rs 1,200 crore project was laid by then BJP chief Nitin Gadkari in 2011. The Yamunotri Dham is located in Uttarkashi district of the state.
The Yamunotri temple is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and is located in western Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of about 3,291 meters. Devotees currently have to undergo a 5km steep climb to reach the temple after Janaki Chatti.

“The project is commercial and environment-friendly,” state secretary of tourism Sachin Kurbe told this newspaper. “Such projects are good for the people as well as the ecology and economy of our state,” he said. Officials privy to the details of the project said the ropeway, to be built at an altitude of 10,797 feet, will be 3.8 km long. The project, envisaged in 2008, was delayed for a long time. The ropeway aims to reduce the time to 10-15 minutes. Currently, it takes around 90 minutes to reach the temple from Kharsali village in Janakichatti.

District tourism officer Choubey said the villagers of Kharsali had given around 14,880 square yards of land for the project. Though it could not be started due to hurdles in the acquisition of forestland, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has now transferred 3.8 hectares to the tourism department for the project.

Another tourism department official told this reporter that there are frequent jams due to the narrow road leading to the ‘dham’. “In view of all these problems, it was proposed in the year 2006 to connect Yamunotri Dham with the ropeway, for which a tender was also issued by the Tourism Department in 2012. However, due to lack of strong will in the government, the ropeway project could not be approved even after 15 years,” said the official.

Local businessman Jaswant Singh told this daily that after the connectivity to the ropeway, the source of income of local businessmen would increase and the economy of the region will also thrive.


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