An Austria-based ropeway manufacturer has used the Swiss challenge route to offer connectivity between Delhi Metro stations on separate lines. Doppelmayr has told the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) it can connect two stations via a ropeway at half the cost of travelators. In the national capital, the travelator model is being implemented to connect the Airport Express Line with the under-construction Pink Line at the Dhaula Kuan station. The facility is expected by the middle of next year. “A ropeway for the same purpose can be executed at 50 per cent of the cost of a travelator,” Vikram Singhal, executive director & chief executive officer, Doppelmayr India Private Ltd, told Business Standard. The company has shortlisted as many as 26 spots on various Metro stations across Delhi where there is a potential for a ropeway. "We have also approached DMRC with our proposal to implement the ropeway projects on EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) basis." The proposal came through the Swiss challenge method, a route approved by the Cabinet in 2015. Under this system, a private player can submit a plan to develop an infrastructure project even if it has not received an invitation from the government. Doppelmayr wants to work on station connectivity between Shivaji Park and Punjabi Bagh stations on a pilot basis. The DMRC has not yet approved the Austrian manufacturer’s proposal.
A DMRC official who did not wish to be named said, “We are yet to decide on the prospect of a ropeway for station connectivity as we need to study the safety aspect of it.” Experts said financial viability of the ropeway or a cable car can be ascertained from the fact that such infrastructure was functioning in countries such as Algeria and Bolivia. A ropeway or a cable car be a tool in the multi-modal transportation mix and can also be leveraged for tourism in hilly regions, they added. Doppelmayr India Private Ltd is the domestic subsidiary of Doppelmayr/Garaventa group, which is engaged in ropeway engineering and operates production plants as well as sales and service centers in more than 40 countries. The group has done more than 14,800 installations in 92 nations, according to its website. The DMRC might invite expressions of interest for ropeway construction from private companies engaged in the business. Typically, the implementation of a ropeway project takes 11-18 months.