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Operation of cable car feasible in Kathmandu valley, estimated cost Rs 15 billion

By Sharachchandra Bhandary

Kathmandu, May 24: Operation of cable car is feasible in the Kathmandu valley and this project would require a minimum of Rs 15 billion, an engineering study has shown.

A feasibility study conducted with the cooperation of the French government shows that it is possible to operate cable car transport service in the Kathmandu valley, the country’s federal capital with a population of about 4 million, as a way of reducing the burgeoning traffic congestion in the valley.

Two French companies – ADP and Ciastra – which are famous the world over in cable car construction, installation and operation, carried out the feasibility study in collaboration with the Panchakanya Group and Kalika Construction companies of Nepal. It took five years for the study. The Government of France has handed over the feasibility study report of the Kathmandu Valley Cable Car Project to the Government of Nepal today.

The feasibility study cost Rs 34 million provided by the French government as part of its bilateral cooperation. Ambassador of France to Nepal, Mr Yves Carmona handed the feasibility study report to Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Raghuveer Mahaseth, at a function attended by the members of the study team, the representatives of the Nepali construction companies and a French delegation.

After hearing from the engineer concerned on the main contents of the study report and the French ambassador’s statement regarding the bilateral cooperation, the Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport said that Nepal government would give its decision on the matter in a few weeks. “We are in the process of intensive study of and discussion on the report. This would also be discussed with the Prime Minister and the Investment Board of Nepal,” he said, expressing his determination to finalise the cable car construction project within one month.

Managing Director of the Panchakanya Group, Pradip Kumar Shrestha said the implementation of the cable car project has become indispensable to reduce the increasing traffic congestion, air and sound pollution, risk to pedestrians in the Kathmandu Valley and to protect the metropolis’ beauty. According to him, the metropolis too has equally important role in the implementation of this project as it is the government’s responsibility to acquire land for the cable car station and other related infrastructures.

He expressed the private sector’s determination to construct the project if the government were to support in this. Chief Executive Officer of Kalika Group, Batsal Pandey suggested that it would be appropriate to construct the cable car project as per the public-private partnership model.

The Blueline Cable Car Service will start from Bishnumati and reached up to Bouddhanath via Hanumandhoka Durbar Area, Ratna Park, Dilli Bazar, Bhandarkhal and Chabahil. Nepali passengers will have to pay fare of Rs 40 per person from whichever station he/she boards on the cable car and travels to whichever destination along the route. The fare for foreigners is Rs 150.

The other routes planned under the cable car service are the Gongabu-Balaju-Sohrakhutte-Kalimati-Balkhu-Tribhuvan University; the Kalanki—Teku—Thapathali-Ratna Park and the Lgankhel-Pulchok-Thapathali-Ratna Park. Multilateral financial institutions like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the European Investment Bank have also shown their interest in investing in the Kathmandu Valley Cable Car Project.

People’s News Monitoring Service

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