POKHARA, Nepal – Two new cable car lines are scheduled to be built in Pokhara . The government has given clearance to Annapurna Cable Car to develop a cable car system linking Sedibagar at the north of Phewa Lake with Sarangkot.
Annapurna Cable Car said that that it had completed all the preparations to construct the cable car line, adding that the foundation stone of the project would be laid this month.
Similarly, Manakamana Darshan is set to start the construction of a cable car from Basundhara Park at Lakeside to the World Peace Pagoda at Pumdibhumdi. It recently obtained the go-ahead from the government. The company and the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport signed an agreement on April 1 to build the project. The 1.5-km aerial tramway is estimated to cost more than Rs1.3 billion excluding land acquisition. The signing of the construction contract has got locals and entrepreneurs excited.
Meanwhile, Tirtha Raj Tripathi, director of the Annapurna Cable Car said that they have already got clearance from the Cabinet for licensing, industry registration and use right of the forest area.
“We have completed detailed feasibility and engineering studies, and the construction work will start soon,” he said. “We have planned to bring the cable car system into operation within the next one and a half years to two years,” said Tripathi.
The company will be investing Rs800 million to build the 2.2-km cable car line. Entrepreneurs from Pokhara own 55 percent of the company while a Japanese company Japan Cable Car owns 30 percent, and the rest of the shares are owned by a Nepali citizen of Japanese origin.
Annapurna Cable Car also plans to erect a large temple of Lord Shiva and a hotel in Sarangkot besides developing a picnic spot. “People will enjoy travelling on the cable car as they can enjoy views of the lake and the Himalaya at the same time,” said Tripathi. “It will contribute to tourism in Pokhara .”
Meanwhile, president of the Pokhara Tourism Council Som Thapa said that the cable car line would help boost tourism in the renowned tourism destination further. “The plan should be devised in such a way that local tourists too benefit from it besides foreign visitors,” he added.
Lakeside locals oppose project
A few locals from Lakeside have protested against the construction of a cable car line connecting Basundhara Park with the World Peace Pagoda due to disagreements over land acquisition. However, locals from Pumdibhumdi have said that no obstructions should be placed before the project under any pretext.
The land originally acquired by the Pokhara Town Development Plan to establish a park was handed over to the cable car project by the Town Development Committee of Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City on July 1, 2014.
“As the construction of the cable car will help to develop Pumdibhumdi besides promoting tourism in Pokhara , there should not be any obstruction against the project,” said a local Raju Chhetri. “We will mount pressure on the government to ensure that the project is completed without hindrance.”