To speed up the cable cars, the Ministry of the Environment declares renouncing the EIA | India News

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Environment has proposed to exempt ropeway projects from carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is usually a long and tedious process. This decision aims to speed up the implementation of such projects for passenger transport and for tourists in the hill states.
The ministry released a draft notice and sought public comment. It comes just days after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government’s intention to tender eight cable car projects in 2022-2023. Road Transport and Highways has been designated as the agency responsible for implementing the cable car projects.
Sources said the Department of Environment has received representation from the Department of Road Transport that cable cars are important as they can be used to provide last mile connectivity as well as mobility in hilly areas. They added that the Ministry of Road Transport reported that environmental clearance for these projects did not occur until 2006 and before that they were excluded from the environmental clearance requirement.
This matter was referred to the Expert Evaluation Committee of the Infrastructure Sector in the Environment and after detailed deliberation, it recommended that the cable car be an environmentally friendly mode of transport in hilly areas with the least of environmental impact in relation to roads and highways and recommended that cable car projects “may be excluded from the scope of the EIA Notification, 2006 subject to certain environmental safeguards prescribed from time to time .”
The Ministry of the Environment published the draft notification based on the expert group’s recommendation.
The NHAI, which falls under the Ministry of Road Transport, has tendered two ropeway projects – one to provide connectivity to Kedarnath and the other to Hemkund Sahib in Uttarakhand, an electoral ward.
He also prepares detailed reports for other projects in Nainital and Himachal Pradesh. Cable links identified include connectivity to Tara Devi Temple, Hattu Peak, Chunja Glacier and Bharmani Temple in Himachal Pradesh with a combined length of 42.5 km in the state. Three links have been proposed in Uttarakhand with a combined length of 29 km, including a cable car link to Hanuman Temple in Nainital and Ghangaria in Chamoli, which is the gateway to the Valley of Flowers, a tourist attraction major.
India is still at a nascent stage of cable car development compared to other parts of the world. Against 4,000 active ski lifts in France, 2,000 in the United States and 1,500 in Switzerland, India has barely 65 ski lift projects and only 22 are successful.

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