More than 40 people, including BJP MLA Kishore Upadhayay, were stranded mid-air for over 45 minutes in cable cars due to technical glitch in the ropeway service between Surkanda Devi Temple and Kaddukhal in Uttarakhand’s Tehri district on Sunday. They were rescued safely and the ropeway service resumed later, said district officials.
Upadhayay said the incident occurred when the group was returning from the temple by the ropeway. “The way the trolleys stopped midway and around 40-50 persons were suspended mid-air, this should be taken with utmost seriousness. We cannot put someone’s life in danger. I will talk to the tourism secretary and those running the service. What if a heart patient or a blood pressure patient is suspended? This is a matter of concern,” the Tehri MLA told the media. He suggested that though the glitch was solved, the ropeway service should be properly examined before starting it for tourists.
The ropeway service was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in April this year, five years after works on it had begun, in 2017. Earlier, to reach Surkanda Devi Temple, people had to trek around 2 km for nearly two hours from Kaddukhal.
In a similar incident in Himachal Pradesh last month, at least 16 people — 14 tourists and two attendants — were stuck mid-air for around six hours when two cable cars developed a snag at Parwanoo Timber Trail in the Solan district. Eleven of them were rescued while others reached down safely on their own.
In May, a few pilgrims visiting the Sharda shrine at Maihar town in Madhya Pradesh were rescued about an hour after they got stuck in cable cars.