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Varanasi plans cable cars as public transport to ease road congestion

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​New way of beating street congestion
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​New way of beating street congestion

Dropping your kid to school? Getting late to workplace due to traffic snarls? Take a ropeway.

Varanasi could soon be one of the first few cities in India to get a web of cable car networks to beat congestion on streets. The cable car network based on ropeway system in PM Narendra Modi’s constituency is estimated to be 70% cheaper than Metro rail network.

The state government has junked the Metro rail proposal and instead has decided to go in for the system in the temple town.

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​Better view
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​Better view

This proposal of ropeway system at advance stage is being seen as a move to help commuters get the better of Kashi’s winding bylanes and a complex traffic profile — from meandering bulls and rickshaws to SUVs and buses.

Sources said if the government gives the go ahead, cable cars moving in all directions would be a reality in less than two years.

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​Limited to tourist destinations
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​Limited to tourist destinations

Till now cable cars are limited to tourist destinations in India unlike some of the western cities where it's a mode of daily commuting.

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​No waiting time
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​No waiting time

Doppelmayr, an Austrian company which has put cable cars in a few cities including the most acclaimed project in La Paz in Bolivia, has made the proposal to put the cable car system in the city.

Vikram Singhal, managing director of its India operations told, "A feasibility report by RITES was presented to the local authority. The frequency of cable cars will be in every few seconds and hence there will be almost no waiting time for commuters. We plan to put the system across the city and not on a few stretches.”

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​Ferry
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​Ferry

Ropeway can ferry 12,000 people an hour.

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​Better connectivity
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​Better connectivity

The company is in dialogue with city administrations in Dehradun, Vishakhapatnam and Kanpur to put this system to beat congestion. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had suggested cities and towns in hills to explore cable car system for better connectivity.

RITES has been asked to prepare a comprehensive mobility plan by integrating ropeways with mini-metro (monorail), bus rapid transport system and waterways in view of city’s topography. It will make another presentation before officials and stakeholders on June 25 after which the DPR will be forwarded to the Centre for a final nod.

The presentation will give a clear picture on the possible routes. Apart from densely populated areas, RITES will explore the possibility of introducing cable cars along the 11 km Varuna Corridor by integrating a 7 km stretch of River Varuna, which can used for water transport.

In February 2018, the VDA had consulted Austrian companies in the wake of the success of cable car travel in old cities of Europe and other continents. The companies had conveyed to VDA that a ropeway system required no major ground coverage, as elevated stations were feasible in congested areas too. They said up to 80 passengers could be accommodated in one cable car and it was possible to ferry 12,000 people an hour.

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