‘The 3,670-metre ropeway project will be the longest in south India on completion’
The multi-crore cable car project proposed by the Wayanad Chamber of Commerce (WCC) across the Thamarassery Ghat Road is back on track, with Western Ghats Development Limited (WGDL), formed by stakeholders, having cleared all technical hurdles.
A final review meeting and an adalat chaired by senior Revenue officials for those who own property near the project area will be held soon as part of preparations to launch the base station work at Adivaram in Kozhikode district. Global tenders will be floated for major civil engineering works, including the construction of towers, base and upper stations, drive unit, and cable works.
The implementation of the project, which was proposed in 2017, had been pending for three years following an unexpected change in the first alignment. The main reason for the delay was legal disputes over property initially purchased for the construction of the upper station at Lakkidi. While resolving it, the WGDL team was also compelled to change the first alignment completely and repeat all the technical procedures for approval.
“We were all set to start the cable car service in 2021, but the unexpected change in the first alignment derailed our plans. There were also procedural delays for securing approval for the new alignment owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, we are on track, and the ₹100-crore project will soon move to the construction phase,” said P. Johny, managing director, WGDL. He added that several NRI businessmen from Kozhikode and Wayanad districts had expressed willingness to buy shares and support the speedy completion of the work.
Noticing the tourism prospects of the project, many prominent investors have visited the project area and examined the scope of starting allied tourism ventures, including amusement parks, theme resorts, and other adventure rides. Some of them have also purchased land near the base station and upper station for innovative tourism ventures.
Entrepreneurs in the tourism sector believe that the cable car project supported by the Tourism Department will be a major boost for the domestic tourism sector in Wayanad and Kozhikode. According to them, the main advantage of the cable car service between Adivaram and Lakkidi is that passengers can cut short the 23-km journey on the Ghat Road to just 3.5 km even as enjoying the thrill of a pleasure ride.
WGDL functionaries pointed out that it would be the longest ropeway project in south India with a length of 3,670 metres on completion. A Kolkata-based company which prepared the DPR for the project said the cable cars would be able to transport 400 persons across the mountain pass per hour. It will also serve as an alternate route to bypass the hairpin curves on the mountain pass, they added.