Darjeeling ropeway resumes functioning after HC order

Darjeeling ropeway or the cable car
The Darjeeling ropeway, a major tourist attraction, resumed functioning today after Calcutta High Court had issued an order to allow the commencement of the service.
The ropeway was closed by the Darjeeling district magistrate on May 28 after the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation had reported sagging of cable lines between two poles.
Justice Joymalya Bagchi in his order on August 11 said: "Report is filed wherefrom I find that the expert committee has opined that the concerned ropeway may be allowed to resume its commercial operation with immediate effect. Such report is kept with record."
"Under such circumstances, the writ petition is disposed of permitting the petitioner to commence commercial operation of the ropeway in accordance with law."
The expert committee that comprises electrical and mechanical experts from Jadavpur University and IIEST, Shibpur, gives fitness certificate to the ropeway every year. Based on the fitness certificate, the PWD renews the licence of the company, the Conveyor and Ropeway Services Pvt Ltd, after every 12 months.
The committee had sent a representative to Darjeeling after the ropeway had been closed down. In the meantime, the company took the matter to the high court.
"We found the allegation to be baseless... There was sagging but it is natural that the rope between two towers would sag to some extent. We found the sagging within permissible limits," said a member of the expert committee.
As the representative submitted a report mentioning that there was nothing unusual, the committee issued a fitness certificate to the ropeway.
"We basically proved that there was nothing wrong with the services," said a ropeway company official.
The Darjeeling Rangeet Valley Ropeway is a joint venture of the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation and Conveyor and Ropeway Services Pvt Ltd. The corporation has leased out the cable car service to the firm.
The cable car ride covers a distance of five kilometers from Singamari in Darjeeling to Tukvar tea estate.
DM Anurag Srivastava today said: "We allowed the functioning of the ropeway following a high court order."
Rachana Mukherjee, director, Conveyor and Ropeway Services Pvt Ltd, said over the phone from Calcutta: "The service resumed today. Tourists can now enjoy rides."(TT)

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