Kathmandu – In 1922 Shree Tin Maharaj Chandra Shamsher started building a 22km long cargo Ropeway from Dhorsing-Chisapnai-Chandragiri hills passing into the Kathmandu. In 1964, this system was further improved and extended to 42 kilometers to Hetauda with the financial and technical assistance of the United State Agency for International Development(USAID). With the introduction of the Foreign Aids to Nepal policy changed. In Fifth Five-Year Plan road construction enjoyed high priority. The Donors were an impression that the roads are the backbone of the development.
In its ‘Nepal Country Report’ of 1976, the world bank came to a conclusion that construction and maintenance of roads in the rugged mountainous country were too costly and other means of transport should be found. However today all the past lessons have totally been forgotten and road building is booming despite the high cost and the damage they cause to the fragile mountain environment.
Many Agencies carried out a feasibility study in the past to explore the possibilities of the different types of Ropeway in Nepal. Unfortunately, they all remained like academic exercises. Two goods carrying ropeways, Bhattedanda and Barpak, and Mankamana passenger Ropeway were actually built. The Feasibility report of these projects showed that demand for ropeway is high in remote areas of Nepal. But Policymakers did not give serious attention.
The Ninth Five-year Plan mentioned ropeway in brief and encouraged the involvement of private sector. But no provision in national budget was made for ropeway development.
Despite the visible success showed by Bhattedanda Ropeway and Mankamana Cable car the transport bureaucracy do not view ropeway as the means of improving the rural economy by connecting remote areas to the market.
However Private sector and ropeway activists have now shown great interest in the development of ropeway in Nepal.
Recently, ‘Ropeway and Cable car Pvt.Ltd‘, in the initiation of Parbat Udhyog Banijya Sangh with the funding by ‘Kushma Balewa Yantrik Pul company’ constructed 600m long Kushma-Balewa Cable car in Parbat district. This system is completely designed by a team of Nepali Engineers. All Mechanical accessories (excluding Motor and Drive), are fabricated in Nepal. This Ropeway is in operation since February 2013 and has a capacity to carry 1000 persons per day.