India’s longest ropeway project over sea: Connecting Mumbai with the Elephanta Caves, the longest ropeway project in India, will be cleared soon! Recently, a meeting was held between Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Tourism and Culture Minister and Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Shipping Minister, wherein the Culture Ministry has assured of extending full cooperation on the project. Slated to be India’s first and longest ropeway project over the sea, the project will be executed by the Mumbai Port Trust, under the Ministry of Shipping, according to an IE report.
According to the report, tourism will get a major boost with 14-minute ride by the 30-seater cable cars. The project also involves the installation of 8-11 towers mid-sea, each 50 metres to 150 metres tall. The Elephanta Caves see an annual footfall of around 7 lakh visitors and are one of the must-visit places around the city of Mumbai. Currently, it takes nearly an hour for the 10-km cruise from Mumbai and vice versa.
The 8-km long ropeway will start from Sewri in Mumbai’s east coast and end at Elephanta Island in Raigad district. For the journey both ways, the tentative fare is expected to be around Rs 500 for Indians and Rs 1,000 for foreign tourists. The ropeway will also offer tourists/visitors a view of mudflats on the east coast as well as the mangroves. As per the project report prepared by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), it expects an annual turnover of around Rs 378 crore. The report is based on an average of 20,000 people per day using the ropeway.
The world heritage site – the Elephanta Caves is located on the Elephanta Islands, off Mumbai. Due to this, approval is required from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) other than the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and the Ministry of Environment. While all other clearances had been obtained already, the clearance from ASI is yet to be received, the daily’s report said.
According to sources quoted in the report, since both the ministries have discussed all the details regarding the project, the required approval under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, is expected to come in soon. Once it gets the final approval, construction work on the project, worth Rs 700 crore is scheduled to start by the end of this year. The project will take nearly 42 months to complete.