Dharamshala, Jan 26 (PTI) Following the suspension of the Dharamshala-Mcleodganj ropeway operation six days after its inauguration, former Himachal minister Sudhir Sharma on Wednesday questioned the entire episode, alleging that it endangered peoples’ lives.
Sharma questioned the Tata group firm Dharamshala Ropeway Limited, operating the ropeway and the Himachal Pradesh government for allegedly failing to ensure safety norms of the project, inaugurated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
Also known as Dharamshala Skyway, the 1.7-km ropeway project between Dharamshala bus stand and Mcloedganj Temple Road, covering a 45-minute drive in 10 minutes and built at Rs 207 crore, was inaugurated on January 19 but its operation was suspended on January 25.
Sharma said now that its operation has been suspended, it is clear that the ropeway was not 100 per cent fit for traffic.
“It was running at low capacity and had failed the test which was mostly kept hidden,” alleged Sharma, a national secretary of the Congress party.
“When the ropeway was not fully ready, why were the people’s lives put in danger by inaugurating it? Why did Tata’s local management not accept the words of the engineer of the Leitner Ropeways company’?” he asked.
“Is it not true that the same engineer had put red marks on the main rope at two points before the inauguration, warning the vulnerability of the ropeway? Who issued the technical clearance and fitness certificate before the inauguration?” Sharma further asked.
He said the Tata group firm operating the ropeway, Dharamshala Ropeway Limited better known as Dharamsala Skyways, knew that it would have to be closed to fix the rope joint, which they had kept a secret.
The furm had earlier said in a press note that it was undertaking a planned maintenance shutdown from January 25 to February 1 during which the ropeway will not be available for passengers.
“A team of international experts will carry out the planned maintenance,” it had said. PTI CORR RAX RAX
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