Parvatmala Programme

News: Recently, the Union Finance Minister in the Union Budget for 2022-23 announced National Ropeways Development Programme – “Parvatmala” to improve connectivity in hilly areas.

What is the Scheme?

  • The scheme will be taken up on PPP (Public Private Partnership)mode, which will be a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative in place of conventional roads in difficult hilly areas.
  • The idea is to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism.
  • This may also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit systems are not feasible.
  • The scheme is being presently started in regions like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir and the other North Eastern states.
  • The Finance Minister announced that contracts for 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 km would be awarded in 2022-23.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH)will have responsibility for development of ropeway and alternative mobility solutions technology, as well as construction, research, and policy in this area. In February 2021, the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961 was amended, which enabled the MORTH to also look after the development of Ropeways and Alternate Mobility Solutions.
  • The move will give a boost to the sector by setting up a regulatory regime. The MORTH has so far been responsible for development of Highways and regulating the road transport sector across the country.
  • Given that ropeway projects are built in a straight line over a hilly terrain, it also results in lower land acquisition costs.
  • Hence, despite having a higher cost of construction per km than roadways, ropeway projects’ construction cost may happen to be more economical than roadways.
  • Owing to the aerial mode of transportation, ropeways have an advantage over roadway projects where ropeways can be built in a straight line, over a hilly terrain.
  • Low dust emissions. Material containers can be designed so as to rule out any soiling of the environment.
  • Ropeway projects adopting 3S (a kind of cable car system) or equivalent technologies can transport 6000-8000 passengers per hour.