SHIMLA: The proposed ropeway project connecting two importan religious shrines of the region – Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh and Anandpur Sahib in Punjab would be constructed on design, build, finance, operate and transfer pattern. A proposal to this effect was discussed and approved by the Himachal Pradesh cabinet on Wednesday.
According to the proposal, the lower terminal point (LTP) of the ropeway would be at Rampur (Punjab) near Anandpur Sahib, intermediate terminal point (ITP) at Toba in Himachal Pradesh and upper terminal point (UTP) at Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh.
According to the proposal, both the state governments would form a joint venture special purpose vehicle (SPV) private limited company that would work as concessioning authority with registered office in Shimla. Both the governments will have equal partnership in it and its initial paid up capital would be Rs 1 crore.
Immediately after its formation, the SPV will appoint transaction adviser and technical consultant. It will have 10 directors, five each from both the states. For the inspection, monitoring and execution of this project an apex committee would be formed under the chief secretaries of the two states to take decisions on consensus.
The secretary (tourism), secretary (PWD), secretary (Finance) and director (Tourism) will be other members of this committee.
There is proposal to have an implementation committee too that would take steps for the inspection and implementation of the project with the direction of the apex committee and the deputy commissioners of Ropar and Bilaspur would be members of this committee among others. The concession period of the proposal is kept at 40 years that does not include three years of the construction period.
For the project, 70% land would be provided by the Himachal Pradesh government and 30% land by the Punjab government. Revenue earned would be distributed among both the states equally. This ambitious ropeway project has been hanging fire for the last six years.
While the BJP government led by then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with then Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, chief minister Virbhadra Singh had scrapped the project after taking over as the chief minister.
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