SAMBALPUR: With the objective of giving a facelift to the ropeway services near Hirakud dam, Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) has undertaken various development works at the site. The services were suspended for two months after the second wave of Covid-19 hit the State.
Since its inception in November 2019, the ropeway has drawn huge crowds. Sources said, the site recorded a footfall of around 800 visitors daily, sometimes going up to 1,000 on weekends in the pre-pandemic times. Enforcement Officer of the SMC, Subhankar Mohanty said plans for beautification and development work at the site was carried out to provide better services to visitors.
“Since it was not possible to complete the beautification in one go due to influx of visitors daily, we decided to utilize the closure period of the ropeway to carry out all the work,” added Mohanty.
The upgradation which started at the end of May and is nearing completion includes renovation of the frontal space of the entry point of the ropeway along with both the toilet complexes. Besides, paver blocks are being laid in the pathway and beautification of parking area is underway.
A new sit out area near the entry point for the visitors and a cafeteria is also being set up at the site, which will be run and managed by a woman SHG under Mission Shakti and become functional once the services begin.
The ropeway connects Jawahar Udyan with the Gandhi Minar, a watch tower which provides a bird’s eye view of the vast reservoir, at the Hirakud dam site.
Twelve trolleys ferry between the two points. After the first wave, the ropeway had resumed operations on November 7 last year but got suspended from May 1 this year.