Singamari -Vah Tukvar ropeway service to resume today

Singamari -Vah Tukvar ropeway service to resume today
Sun, Jan 6, 2019

DARJEELING,: After remaining defunct following suspension of service for around nine months, the Singamari to Vah Tukvar ropeway service near here is scheduled to resume on Sunday. The trial run was conducted by the staffs of the CRSPL today.
A major attraction for tourists visiting Darjeeling, the ropeway service was closed in April last year after the previous operator Conveyor and Ropeway Services Private Limited (CRSPL) cited expiry of its 20 year lease. The CRSPL and the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation Limited (WBFDCL) jointly operate the ropeway.
“We conducted trial runs with load and also did checking and maintenance work today. Everything is in perfect order and we are happy. Few tourists who came to see the ropeway were lucky enough to take the rides. It was good to see the smile on the faces of the tourists,” said Mingma Lama, commercial manager of the CRSPL.
Before last year’s suspension of operation, the ropeway service was closed following an accident
in October 2003 which resulted in the death of four tourists. After survey by the Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants (India) Limited (Mecon) and list of technical recommendations including modern safety measures, the service was reopened in 2012, after eight years.
“There was some issue of getting NOC and renewal of the lease holding but now that all has been sorted with the lease extended for another five years,” Lama said.
It may be added here that the WBFDCL provides the lease but the mandatory NOC is given by the State PWD department. Sources maintained that the NOC this time has been given for six months, from January 1 to June 30, against the usual period of one year.
“We are working on this issue with concerned officials and are hoping for positives,” the commercial manager said.
The ropeway ride provides passengers with a 360 degree view of the surrounding tea gardens, the town area and the Kanchenjunga peak. At present there are 12 gondolas each with a capacity of carrying six passengers. The forty-minute ride, covering five km, starts from the Singamari station and goes down to the Tukvar tea estate. Passengers can enjoy the scenic beauty while also having local food in the stalls.
Today, at least 60 passengers took the ride with the tourists thrilled to take the ride after so many months. “We have been coming here (ropeway) for the past three days in the hope service would resume. Today, we got a surprise call from the hotel who informed us that the ropeways
service had started. We immediately reached here and took the ride. It was a wonderful and memorable experience as this is my first ride in any ropeway,” said a tourist from Kolkata Soumya Das.
The entry fee for the ropeway ride is Rs.200 for adults while children between the ages of 3 to 7 years are charged Rs.100. During off season, around 250-300 passengers take the ride with the number reaching 500-600 during peak period daily.

 


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