Chandragiri cable car to be launched next year

Kathmandu, July 25

A cable car service is being rolled out in Kathmandu Valley for the very first time by the beginning of 2016, as the developer has said that they have completed 75 per cent of the works of Chandragiri Cable Car Project (CCCP). The project is being developed by a privately-owned company — Kathmandu Fun Park Ltd.

Since the construction of the project commenced 15 months ago, the developer has completed building the top station, bottom station and foundations of the towers so far. The site development and tower and cable erection are projected to take another three months, as per Dilip Shrestha, project manager of CCCP.

“Earlier, we had planned to commence operation by October this year, but the launch date had to be postponed due to the devastating earthquake in April and subsequent powerful aftershocks,” Shrestha explained, adding the company is planning to test the operation by October but the commercial operation will only begin by January 2016.

CCCP was forced to halt construction work for a month after the devastating earthquake of April 25.

Altogether 11 towers will be erected for the 2.5 kilometre-long cable car from Godam (Thankot) to Chandragiri hill. The cable car has a capacity to serve 1,000 people in one hour and will be operated for at least 12 hours a day.

More interestingly, the distance between tower seven to eight is about 900 metres, which is one of the longest distances between towers and will be a thrilling experience for cable car riders.

“The foundations of all 11 towers have been laid and construction materials for the towers have also been delivered by helicopters in different tower stations, where the track has not been developed,” said Shrestha.

As per him, the project has also taken bio-engineering techniques into consideration for eco-friendly development. Altogether 300 labourers are involved in the project.

The total project cost of the CCCP is expected to hover around Rs 3.36 billion, which is financed by 50 per cent debt and 50 per cent equity investment. The project is financed by a consortium of seven commercial banks of the country.

The bottom station is being developed on 120 ropanis of property owned by Kathmandu Fun Park Ltd at Godam of Thankot. The 700 ropanis of land for the top station that lies on top of the Chandragiri hill has been taken on a 40-year lease from the government. The developer also plans to construct a five-star hotel, view tower, 4D theatre, zip flyer and botanical garden, among others in the area to lure tourists.

The top and bottom stations of the cable car will provide full facilities, like food court, restaurant and bar, branded shops, banking services and parking. In addition, a fun park is also scheduled to be developed in the bottom station.

The pre-feasibility study of the project was done six years back and the government had invited the private sector to develop the project. The developer had signed the agreement with the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation to lease the land at Chandragiri hill three years back. CCCP is the second cable car project in the country after Manakamana Darshan Ltd’s Manakamana Cable Car.