GTA plans to build five new ropeways in Darjeeling, Kalimpong

Ropeway in Darjeeling
Darjeeling: Soon, Ropeways are to become a major tourist attraction in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has come up with a plan to build 5 new ropeways in the Hills. The plan has mustered a major boost, with investors showing interest in ropeways at the recently concluded Hill Business Summit. "We had received 5 such proposal at the Hill Business Summit. We are working on the proposals," stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA.

Work has already commenced on a ropeway service from Giddeypahar in Kurseong to the Rohini Tourist Complex. Work on the project pegged at Rs 16 crore had started in August 2014. The other services include Batasia to Rock Garden near Darjeeling and from Deolo to Relli in Kalimpong. The State Government is also keen on starting new cable car services in Darjeeling. "We want to have a cable car service between West Bengal and Sikkim. We will hold a meeting soon with the Chief Minister of Sikkim to work out the modalities for the same," stated West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb.

The State Government in collaboration with the GTA is also planning a ropeway service in Thorbu Tea Estate in Mirik. The oldest ropeway in the Hills is the ropeway running from Singamari to Tukvar. This ropeway which is a major tourist attraction has, however, been suspended service from April 1 with their lease agreement with the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation expiring.

There are two ropeway services in Sikkim also, one in Gangtok and the other in Changu. Though the travel trade industry has welcomed the plan to have multiple ropeway services in the Hills, they are skeptical that the tourists might not want to opt for multiple ropeway rides. "Nowadays Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong is a travel circuit. Tourists usually come on a tight schedule and want to visit most of the tourist spots. Under these circumstances, they might not want to opt for multiple ropeway rides" stated a travel agent.

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