The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday approved setting up of a ropeway between Sri Anandpur Sahib and Naina Devi ji in public private partnership (PPP) mode to boost the tourism sector in the state.
The ropeway would facilitate lakhs of devotees visiting these two historic, religious sites, said an official spokesperson, who pointed out that Sri Anandpur Sahib in Punjab and Naina Devi ji in Himachal Pradesh were famous pilgrim destinations visited by devotees from across the globe.
The two shrines are located quite far from each other with hilly terrain compounding the problems of the devotees, the cabinet noted.
The Punjab government, with the consent of its Himachal Pradesh counterpart, has decided to set up the ropeway project to ease the travel of visitors, said the spokesperson.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the governments of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to set up the ropeway on July 26, 2012.
The Punjab tourism department had acquired 108 kanal and 13 Marla of land for setting up a lower terminal and right of way within the Punjab territory for this purpose.
However, the MoU was cancelled by the Himachal Pradesh government on June 3, 2014.
In February, 2018, a letter from the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh expressed willingness to revive the project, following which the Punjab CM conveyed his consent.
Subsequently, the Punjab tourism department received the approved MoU from the government of Himachal Pradesh on September 5, 2018.
It is proposed that the project will be executed in PPP mode by setting up a special purpose vehicle.
The total paid up equity for the SPV will be Rs 1 crore, with Rs 50 lakh each as share of the two states, the spokesperson said.
As per the MoU, both states will have equal share in the revenue, with concession period of 40 years.
In the initial seven years, no concession fee would be paid by the concessionaire and a time period of three years would be given to set up this project, said the spokesperson.