Ropeway project in Nandi Hills soon: Karnataka minister

Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar on Thursday said that a cable car facility at the popular tourist spot of Nandi Hills will be a reality soon as the state government has released Rs 10 crore already for developing this place into an international tourist destination.

After inspecting the development works at Nandi Hills here, Sudhakar who is also Chikkaballapur MLA and district in-charge minister, said that there is popular demand from people for a cable car service for the last several years but this time it will be a reality.

“Preliminary work will start in next three or four months. Tender will be called soon to allocate the work order,” he said.

According to him, the district administration plans to introduce trekking trails to five hills surrounding the Nandi hills as part of its eco-tourism initiative. “Beside this conservation of archaeological monuments, beautification, infrastructure development works will also be taken up in the coming days. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa is more keen to give priority to the tourism sector in the coming Budget,” he added.

The cable car project or ropeway project has remained a pipe dream for nearly 35 years, after this project was mooted by then Kannada superstar and director Shankar Nag who died in an accident almost three decades ago.

Successive governments since, S.M. Krishna who was CM of Karnataka between 1999 to 2004, had proposed to construct this ropeway and even allocated Rs 1.25 crore to conduct feasibility study for setting up ropeway projects not only in Nandi Hills but also on Chamundi Hills and Krishna Raj Sagara garden (Brindavana garden) in Mysuru, Jog waterfalls in Shivamogga, Vaikuntha Hills at TungaBhadra Dam, Ballari and Shravanabelagola hills in Hassan.

However, ropeway projects have regularly figured in state Budgets since then but failed to take off at any place the government had been planning so far owing to forest and ecological concerns.