Gravity ropeway, a boon for villagers in Dhading

Shashi Dhungel

Dhading, June 23:

It would take a person three hours to carry a load of 50 kg through the difficult Janagaon-Bishaltar stretch of dust road in Dhading district. However, now with the gravity ropeway installed, the same load could be transported in just two minutes. This huge saving in the transportation time and cost is reason enough to justify the economic viability of this mountain technology. Based on a simple theory of gravity, this ‘Gravity Ropeway’ linking Bishaltar and Janagaon has directly benefited 200 families of Janagaon and about 600 more living in the peripheral VDCs. The base station is at Benighat VDC, about 9 km from Malekhu on the Prithivi Highway. The ropeway is a simple and affordable means of goods transportation for the people in the area. It has helped link small producers to the market and has provided a means of livelihood to the underprivileged and marginal groups. Nanda Bahadur Ghale, chairman of the Janagaon Ropeway Consumer Committee, said tomato and other vegetables are grown in abundance in Janagaon and the ropeway has been a very reliable means of transportation.

“The ropeway spanning 1,400 metres operates by gravitational force without the use of external power and could be installed for about Rs 900,000,” said Durdam Thapa, proprietor of Ambika Fabricating. “The ropeway currently is being tested, although a similar one is already fully operation in Marpha in the Tuche area of Mustang district. The ropeway does in a single day what human labour would do in 30 days,” Thapa added. The project is funded by the European Union and constructed by Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) Nepal. “The ropeway could be extended to a length of 2,000 metres if the topography is good. However, the ideal length would be only 1,500 metres,” Thapa said. Due to the abrupt change in pressure and its high speed, it cannot be used for transporting human beings, but is certainly the most suitable means of transporting goods in the hilly areas. A similar ropeway is under construction that would link Bishaltar of Dhading and Ghalchowk VDC of Gorkha.