Panaji-Reis Magos ropeway getting ready to ride high 


PANAJI: The government has awarded the tender for putting in place the passenger ropeway between Panaji and Reis Magos to Menus Adventures Private Limited, which has formed a consortium with Doppelmayr Garaventa Group, an Austrian company having wide experience in the manufacture and installation of surface and aerial ropeways, cable cars, etc. The tourism project is expected to be commissioned in 24 months.

Minister for Tourism Dilip Parulekar said the decision would be put before the state cabinet soon, as the safety aspects linked to the ropeway need to be discussed.

“Cabinet nod would clear the way for issuance of work order to the selected bidder,” he mentioned, adding that the department of tourism had exchanged its land with the land of the directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs on the Panaji side for setting up the particular project.

The Goa Tourism Development Corporation had floated an e-tender for development, operation and maintenance of passenger ropeway between Panaji and Reis Magos on public-private partnership basis. The proposed ropeway system is based on the detachable Gondala system with installed capacity of 1,200 to 1,500 passengers per hour. The project is expected to have between 30 and 40 cable cars transporting people to the Reis Magos fort from the capital city.

The high-end project is aimed towards giving a boost to the state tourism sector, along with the rides in seaplane, hot air balloon, helicopter and amphibious bus.

Parulekar told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the Rs 100-crore project has been awarded to a company, from amongst three eligible companies, which has an experience of completing similar projects in Himachal Pradesh and,  Jammu and Kashmir.  The second phase of ropeway project would have a ropeway linking Reis Magos to Aguada Fort, and the related administrative exercise towards the same would start before the end of the tenure of the present government.

“We are also planning to use the Aguada Jail and Aguada lighthouse as tourist spots to attract tourists,” the Tourism Minister maintained, adding that the lighthouse project would be taken up through the Union ministry of shipping under its ambitious plan to develop lighthouses dotting India’s vast coastline as new beacons of tourism.”

The directorate general of lighthouses and lightships, Noida, has drawn up a plan to develop 78 out of 189 lighthouses along the Indian coastline as tourist attractions under public-private partnership, and this includes light houses at Aguada and São Jorge.

Parulekar also stated that the department of tourism has moved a proposal to the government seeking to convert the 17th-century fort, which was converted into a jail until last year, into tourist spot with facilities like light and sound shows and other programmes.

The department of tourism is also planning to put up portraits of freedom fighters like Ram Manohar Lohia, Vishwanath Lawande and others in the rooms of this former jail, where they were imprisoned during the Portuguese regime.