Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik, on Monday inaugurated the Bhawan-Bhairon Passenger Ropeway, which will facilitate pilgrims visiting the holy cave shrine to visit the adjoining but steeply-located Bhairon temple, considered an essential part of the pilgrimage.

This Rs 85 crore project was e-inaugurated at a function held at the Raj Bhavan here.

The governor, who is also the chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, complimented the officers and engineers who worked to make this mega project a reality as well as recalling the efforts made by former officials associated with the project. He advised the Shrine Board to take all possible steps to make the ropeway service hassle-free.

The Passenger Ropeway Project has a carrying capacity of 800 persons per hour and with its completion, the pilgrims will be easily able to pay obeisance at Bhairon ji Temple which was earlier difficult, particularly for the elderly and specially-abled pilgrims, owing to a steep climb to an altitude of 6600 feet.

The ropeway will also reduce the travel time of the journey between the Bhawan to the Bhairon Temple from one hour to just about three minutes. The board has decided to charge a highly subsidized to and fro rate of Rs. 100 per passenger to enable the maximum number of pilgrims to avail this facility.

The Bhawan-Bhairon Passenger Ropeway Project has been executed by a consortium of Garaventa AG, Switzerland and Damodar Ropeways Construction Co. (P) Ltd., Kolkata under the consultancy and overall supervision of RITES Ltd.

The electro-mechanical components and cabins of the ropeway have been imported from Switzerland. The passenger ropeway system has been fully equipped with all safety norms as per relevant standards and codes.

The board has also set up a ticketing hall, automated fare collection system counters, turnstile barrier gates, stairs and ramp leading to the ropeway station and other associated facilities for the pilgrims. The passenger ropeway is bi-cable jig-back system, having two fully enclosed spacious cabins with a carrying capacity of 40-45 persons in each cabin in one go. The horizontal distance of the ropeway is 375 metres, has a vertical rise of 236 metres and a slope length of 443 metres. It has a complete power back up system at the drive station.

At its 63rd meeting held recently, the board approved additional life insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for ropeway passengers which will be over and above the insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh already available to the pilgrims.

First Published: Dec 24, 2018 23:48 IST

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