‘Chandragiri Cable Car permitted to operate in haste’

Kathmandu, December 21

Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee of the Parliament has sought all documents related to Chandragiri Cable Car service that came into operation recently.

The panel sought documents concluding that line ministries had not conducted adequate study before giving the cable car company permission to operate.

Chandragiri Cable Car service faces charges of selling tickets at a high rate, restricting visitors from taking cooked food to the hill station, turning a public temple into private property and neglecting environmental concerns.

At a meeting held today, Chair of the consumer welfare sub-committee of the House panel Subhash Chandra Shah Thakuri said, “We found that the line ministries, including the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and Ministry of Population and Environment, had not carried out adequate study before permitting the cable car company to operate.”

He also informed that the committee would meet again after gathering all necessary documents. “Operation of the cable car service has drawn controversy also because of lack of policy. So, we direct the concerned government bodies to formulate a clear policy regarding operation of cable car services,’’ added Thakuri.

The committee also directed the operators of Chandragiri Cable Car service to abide by existing laws and regulations. The committee members also drew their attention towards allegation of high ticket price.

Answering the committee members’ queries, Ambika Prasad Paudel, co-owner of Chandragiri Cable Car, said the company was adhering to rules and regulations, including forest and environment laws.

He also clarified that the company had followed required procedures and taken the consent of locals. He argued that the ticket rates were not as high as made out to be and that the rates were fixed with a service motive.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Madhab Kumar Karki said the ministry was in the process of formulating national procedure regarding operation of cable car services.