In an effort to control the alarming traffic congestion faced by residents while commuting, the Sikkim government has decided to explore ‘cable cars’ as a means of public transport system in state capital Gangtok.
The length of the conceptual mass transit systtem rounds up to 12.42 km with 13 stations.
In a statement, the state information and public relations department said that Sikkim chief secretary SC Gupta on Wednesday chaired a meeting on ‘Techno-Economic Feasibility Study of Cable Car as Public Transport System for Gangtok’ held by the Urban Development & Housing Department in co-ordination with Urban Mass Transit Company Limited (UMTC) in New Delhi. The meeting was also attended by the head of various stakeholder departments of the state for their opinion over adopting cable cars as a solution.
The statement further stated that representative of UDHD while attending the meet at the national capital informed that it had engaged UMTC since September 2016 and thereafter, during a period of three months, the UMTC team will conduct a primary survey of data for the projection of traffic situation in the next 30 years in Gangtok. The chief secretary also stressed that the report being presented during the meet was only preliminary data and not the detailed project report (DPR).
Chief secretary Gupta in the meet also stated that adopting cable cars as mode of public transport in Gangtok is being explored as one of the appropriate solutions available for the capital to tackle the burgeoning traffic menace. He said that if adopted, cable cars can become a viable long term solution to solve the grievances being faced by the state in terms of road traffic. He also put forward the resolution of the state government to effectively decongestant the roads of the state capital and mentioned that all possible options are being explored with utmost priority.
Adding to it, Gupta also expressed that Gangtok is a hill station and all the challenges in terms of geography and limited space are being considered while devising customized solutions to solve the traffic problem for the capital.
In the meeting, the state chief secretary also made various inquiries regarding safety, travel time and environmental factors related to cable cars and expressed satisfaction at the study that was done by the concerned department and UMTC.
Meanwhile, UMTC manager Harshita Sharma focussed on ‘moving people and not vehicles’ as per National Urban Transport Policy, 2016 and taking into consideration the population of Gangtok including tourist inflow and the unique geography of the town.
She further added that the key mobility concerns of the town were challenging terrain conditions, limited land availability for road network development, increasing private vehicle share, extensive dependence on taxi services, poor infrastructure and lack of parking spaces.
The presentation also touched upon coverage, multi-modal integration, accessibility and safety of cable car transport system.