Ropeway opened in Himachal’s Solang Valley

January 23rd, 2011 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Manali, Jan 23 (IANS) To make snowy peaks of Himachal Pradesh more easily accessible to tourists, a multi-million ropeway-cum-ski project at the picturesque Solang Valley near here was inaugurated by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Sunday. It was the first such project in the state to promote skiing.

Set up with an investment of Rs.36 crore, the project is a joint initiative between the state tourism department and a private company Ski Himalayas Ropeway Pvt Ltd, a government spokesperson told IANS.

It was commissioned under build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) basis by the government.

Dhumal said the skiing project would boost tourism potential in the area.

“It would also attract more skiers to the Solang slopes from across the globe. The government would also develop infrastructure in the area.”

The Solang slopes, 13 km from here, in Kullu district are known across the globe for skiing. The Slopes offer challenging run to both beginners and advanced skiers and are of international standards.

The ropeway project is a state-of-the-art gondola system built with European technology. It caters to the needs of the tourists both during the summer and winter.

“During summers, the tourists would take a ride to the ridge of Mount Phatru at an elevation of 3,200 m (10,000 ft),” company’s joint managing director Amitabh Sharma told reporters.

He said the gondolas have special provision to carry skies to the top terminal to enable them to increase the ski run by at least three km.

Manali’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports is regularly conducting skiing courses on Solang slopes.

With good snowfall this winter, the slopes have been crowded with fun-filled skiing sessions. The slopes have more than two feet of snow.

The Winter Games Federation of India last year allowed the Himachal Pradesh Winter Games Association to hold the National Senior Alpine Skiing Championship.

Himachal Pradesh attracted 13 million tourists last year as compared to 11 million in 2009, registering an increase of over 16 percent in a year.

Kullu and Manali are the hotspots for tourists, followed by Shimla and Dharamsala.

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