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Assam Gets India’s Maiden River Ropeway

Assam Gets India’s Maiden River Ropeway

The new project will not only change the economics of Guwahati when the Brahmaputra in spate, but also add to the tourism coffer

Assam, gateway to the northeast, beckons a breath-taking experience; barely a 7-minute journey across the mighty River Brahmaputra.

A little correction: above the Brahmaputra on a cable car!

When Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in presence of other dignitaries, inaugurated India’s longest  as also maiden river ropeway over the now swollen river, this northeastern state etched its name among other countries of the world that also sport such unique means of river transport.

It was a patient, 11-year wait for the residents of the area, and perhaps the tourists as well.

A journey that used to take more than an hour and a half for them through tortuous traffic across Maligaon, Jalukbari and the road bridge at Saraighat, is now cut short straight into a seven-minute trip for a two-km stretch.

 

With the Brahmaputra flowing below and a blue sky above, the passengers’ glee must have gone through the roof of the sky.

Manufactured in Switzerland, each carriage has a capacity to ferry 32 passengers.

“But the pandemic has forced us to restrict the number of passengers to 15 in each of them.

“Every passenger needs to wear a mask and maintain all COVID-19 social distancing protocol for a ride in this Rs 56 crore ropeway,” Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddartha Bhattacharya said after the inauguration.

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A single trip from one side to the other will cost Rs 60 while the charge for a two-way commuting has been fixed at Rs 100.

Commuters may also avail daily,weekly and monthly passes for the ride which will be operational from 8am till 6pm for the time being. Till lockdown ends, that is.

“The cable car will be particularly vital during the floods when the Brahmaputra flows above the danger level and the ferry services are suspended,” added Bhattacharya.

The tourism potential of the cable car is quite fabulous as it will provide a bird’s eye view of the Umananda in the Peacock Island.

And the Neelachal Hills, home to the famous Kamakshya temple and the golden sunset behind the historic Saraighat Bridge are among other attractions that the riders will feast their eyes on.

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