The Jakhu temple is located at the highest peak of Shimla city.
Twelve tourists on a visit to a hilltop temple here had a harrowing time after cable car operators refused to ferry them back, citing safety concerns. On Thursday, the tourists who had come from various parts of the country had to walk 2.5 km from Jakhu temple on a snow-hit, slippery road to return to the Ridge in Shimla city.
The Jakhu temple is located at the highest peak of Shimla city. Jagson International Limited (JIL), the firm that runs the operations, pointed to “court orders” for not being able to take the tourists back.
Jakhu ropeway manager Madan Sharma told PTI that the twelve tourists could not be taken back in the cable car to the Ridge as court orders restricted the firm from running it after sunset.
However, Sachin and Tamanna, a couple from Amritsar, told PTI that they had reached the ropeway at Jakhu much before sunset. Responding to this, the ropeway manager admitted that the twelve tourists had come before sunset but the firm was obliged to ferry the passengers who had arrived before them.
As a result, the 12 tourists had to travel the entire distance on foot.
The manager claimed the firm had returned the entire amount of the return ticket of Rs 550 to each of the ten tourists. The remaining two tourists can also get their money refunded after showing their tickets, he added.
On their way back to the Ridge, Sachin told PTI that they had a harrowing time midway through their journey near Holy Lodge. Prem, a tourist from Delhi, said, “We had to walk very cautiously on the slippery road in this cold to avoid skidding on it.”
Sachin and Prem claimed the ropeway operators had left them in the lurch at Jakhu temple itself. They further said that two elderly tourists, who were suffering from joint pain, were unable to walk and remained stranded at the hilltop.
The ropeway manager said, “We usually drive tourists having return tickets back in our cars to the Ridge after sunset but as vehicles could not ply on the snowbound road, we sent five men to accompany the 12 passengers and help them reach the Ridge by holding their hands.” However, Sachin claimed that no one helped them to reach the Ridge. When contacted, Shimla deputy commissioner Amit Kashyap told PTI that he would take action against the ropeway operators after getting a written complaint from the affected tourists.