The Rs 85 crore Bhawan-Bhairon passenger ropeways will reduce travel time for Vaishno Devi pilgrims from one hour to just three minutes between Bhawan and Bhairon Temple. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor Satya Pal Malik, who is also the Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, inaugurated the high-tech project on Monday. He said the ticket price will be low, to and fro-journey costing just Rs 100 per passenger. According to the official spokesman “the ropeway has a carrying capacity of 800 passengers per hour. The Electro-Mechanical Components and cabins of the ropeway have been imported from Switzerland. The system has been fully equipped with all safety gear as per relevant standards and codes.”
He said the passenger ropeway is a bi-cable jig-back system with two fully enclosed spacious cabins. “It can carry 40 to 45 persons in each compartment in one go. Proper provision for ventilation has also been made,” he added. The Spokesman said elderly and specially-abled devotees would be able to fulfill their wish of paying obeisance at the Bhairon Temple. This was earlier considered a very difficult feat due to the steep climb to an altitude of 6,600 feet. The horizontal distance of the passenger ropeway is 375 metre, vertical rise is 236 metre and the slope length is 443 metre, with a complete power backup system by the board.
Moreover, the board has approved additional life insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh for the ropeway passengers which will be over and above the insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh available to track pilgrims. The Governor said the engineers and officers have made this mega project a reality. In regards to the safety aspects, Malik said rescue and relief preparations should be of international standards. The project has been accomplished by Messrs Garaventa AG, Switzerland and Messrs Damodar Ropeways Construction Company (Private) Limited, Kolkata under the overall supervision of Messrs RITES Limited.