Varanasi Development Authority to Launch Ropeway Project Tender Process from March 16 | Varanasi News
The process was suspended for more than two and a half months for various reasons, including assembly polls.
Speaking to TOI on Sunday, Varanasi Development Authority Chairman and Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agrawal said, “Officials of WAPCOS Limited, an accredited public sector company under the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti which has finalized the pilot phase of the cable car project, will be in the city with numerous bidders on March 16. They will discuss issues of concern to them before the bidding process is finalized.
VDA, the agency executing the project in Kashi to use the ropeway as a public transport system in the country’s first city, had already extended the date for completing the bidding process several times due to for various reasons, including elections to the assembly.
The ropeway system was chosen as the MRTS component, following the rejection of the Kashi Metro railway plan in June 2018. All basic exercises of the project had been finalized by WAPCOS in August 2021 and VDA also convened the pre-planning meeting. bidding with bidders in November 2021. On December 15, 2021, the state cabinet gave final approval to the proposed 3.65 km ropeway project in the pilot phase for Kashi Old Town, which will come between Varanasi Junction (Cantt station) and Girijaghar crossing (Godowlia) via Rathyatra.
In last year’s pre-tender meeting, many global ropeway and ski lift manufacturers from the United States, Austria, France and Malaysia participated in the process and expressed interest in running the ambitious Rs 410 crore ropeway venture in Kashi. Agrawal said that initially the deadline for submitting bids was set for 23rd December 2021. But, as huge paper work was required to submit the bids by the companies and it could not be completed on schedule due to the Christmas holidays. He said that at the request of the companies, the last date has been extended to January 31.
However, as the assembly election process also began in January, participating companies preferred to wait to participate in the tender. Perhaps these companies preferred to wait for the formation of the new state government before submitting a tender given the changes made to the mass rapid transit systems component by the Bharatiya Janata Party government after its came to power in the state in 2017 by rejecting Metro Rails’ proposal approved for Varanasi by the previous Samajwadi party government, sources said, mentioning that participating companies wanted to ensure no changes were made after the start of the process.
Agrawal said a model code of conduct has been enacted for the assembly election in the state, the deadline for submitting tenders for the cable car project has been revised again and extended until March 31. This time, officials are confident that the bidding process for the cable car project will be completed. as the BJP retained power, after which the possibility of any cable car project changes to be launched on a public-private partnership model was removed.
The reason for this confidence of the nodal agency for the execution of the ropeway project is the participation of representatives of six companies, including ECL Management Sdn Bhd from Malaysia, Doppelmayr Garaventa from Austria and the French company Poma Ropeways in the pre-meeting to the call for tenders, which was convened by the VDA in November 2021 as well as their requests for an extension of the deadline for the submission of tenders.
The service will start with 220 cable cars, which will be available at stations equipped with escalators within 90 to 120 seconds. Each cable car will take 15 minutes to complete the end-to-end journey, officials said.