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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Explained: Why Brahmaputra ropeway is special

The Assam government has inaugurated a 1.8-km ropeway across the Brahmaputra river, and described it as India’s longest river ropeway. We take stock of the project and its utility

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: August 25, 2020 7:01:49 am
Brahmaputra ropeway, Brahmaputra river ropeway, Guwahati ropeway, Express Explained, Indian ExpressThe cable car takes off on Monday. (Twitter/@sarbanandsonwal)

The Assam government has inaugurated a 1.8-km ropeway across the Brahmaputra river, and described it as India’s longest river ropeway. The Indian Express takes stock of the project and its utility.

Why a river ropeway

Thousands of people commute every day between the capital city of Guwahati and the town of North Guwahati, where IIT Guwahati is located. The ropeway cuts travel time between the two banks to 8 minutes. The current travel options between the two banks are by ferry (30 minutes or more, depending on current and season) or by road through a bridge that usually takes over an hour in the traffic.

“One-way travel on the ropeway will take say 9-10 minutes. So in 20 minutes if a person can complete a round trip between Guwahati and North Guwahati, it will be immensely beneficial,” said Umananda Doley, CEO of Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority.

Brahmaputra ropeway, Brahmaputra river ropeway, Guwahati ropeway, Express Explained, Indian Express

Tourism potential

“Apart from substantially reducing travel time, the ropeway will provide a breathtaking view of the mighty Brahmaputra and promote tourism in the State,” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted.

Doley told The Indian Express: “Tourists can take the ropeway to North Guwahati and spend quality time that side. Hospitality services will also develop on that side and thus the ropeway is expected to be an overall boost for tourism in the city.”

Connecting Kachari Ghat (Guwahati) to Dol Govinda Temple on the northern bank, the ropeway passed the famous Umananda temple on a small island.

Brahmaputra ropeway, Brahmaputra river ropeway, Guwahati ropeway, Express Explained, Indian Express Tickets have been fixed at Rs 100 for a round trip, and Rs 60 for a one-way trip. (Twitter/@sarbanandsonwal)

Design and fare

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who inaugurated the ropeway, tweeted: “This is one of the most advanced & longest river crossing Aerial Tramway systems in India”. The ropeway uses a “twin-track, single-haul, bi-cable double reversible jig back” system, officials said.

The ropeway comprises two cabins — each with a capacity of 30 passengers plus one operator. The project was built at a cost of Rs 56 crore.

Tickets have been fixed at Rs 100 for a round trip, and Rs 60 for a one-way trip.

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