Ropeway Trolleys: Access to the inaccessible
By A Special Correspondent
Ropeway trolleys, for passenger traffic and material handling, and steel and cable suspended bridges, are growing in popularity in India, and not just in the north and north-east. Ropeway trolleys are, of course, widely used in the inaccessible terrains of the Himalayas and in the north-east region. The movement of people, goods and other material across rivers and ravines in most remote villages and townships located in the higher tracts of the mountain range, in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, is achieved through ropeway trolleys.
Called "spans" in local jargon, a typical ropeway trolley system, say, in Kullu, consists of a trolley that moves on rollers resting on top of a steel cable stretched between two points.
In Kullu, for instance, there are essentially three types of ropeway trolleys: Village ropeways to transport goods to and from remote villages; Logging ropeways to transport timber from remote forests; and, River ropeways to transport people across the river.
According to mountaintechnology.tripod.com, a site that caters exclusively to this unique tranportation technique, "Depending on the enduse, the method of installation and utilisation are very different in all three types of spans. Thus, where the weight to be carried is large, the trolley is made to rest on two cables. If the trolley moves up and down by gravity, an ingenious system of using two trolleys has been designed so that while one trolley is bringing down material from the village, the other is carrying a lesser weight up to the village."
Two prominent ropeway companies in India are Damodar Ropeways and Construction Company Pvt. Ltd and Usha Breco Ltd.
Damodar Ropeways and General Construction Company, promoted by C.L. Chamaria, the Managing Director, has implemented a number of special "first time" ropeways in India and Nepal. A bridge division was started some years ago. The group has constructed a number of steel and cable suspended bridges in the north-eastern states. It is also into building construction.
The company's ropeways are currently running at Naina Devijee Temple in Himachal Pradesh; Appu Ghar in New Delhi; Science City in Kolkata; Manuguru near Hyderabad; Pipla and Chandrapur in the Western Coal fields, Maharashtra; Auli in Uttaranchal; and, other sites in India and Nepal.
Its activities comprise turnkey and operation contracts, BOO schemes and repair and revamping of existing ropeways.
For details contact: Damodar Ropeways and Construction Company, 1/A Vansittart Row, Kolkata-700001. Tel: +91-33-248-6806/3137; Fax: +91-33-248-5965
Usha Breco Ltd was set up in 1969 as a joint venture between Usha Martin Industries Ltd (now Usha Beltron Ltd), India, the largest wire rope manufacturer in South Asia, and British Ropeway Engineering Company (BRECO), UK, world renowned designers and suppliers of aerial ropeways and cableways.
Over the years, UBL, which has designed, invested and built several important ropeways, currently operates five passenger ropeways in India on BOT basis. These are: Maa Mansadevi Udankhatola and Maa Chandidevi Udankhatola in Hardwar, Uttaranchal; Maa Kalidevi Udankhatola and Maa Ambadevi Udankhatola at Pawagadh and Ambaji in Gujarat; and, Malampuzha Udankhatola at Malampuzha Gardens in Kerala. UBL carries over four million customers on its own ropeways every year.
The company has also executed on turnkey basis several passenger ropeway projects and has designed and installed many material-handling ropeways in India and abroad. Other services include reconnaissance and detailed surveys, techno-commercial feasibility reports, arial ropeways on turnkey basis and installing passenger ropeways on BOLT basis.
For details contact: General Manager, Passenger Ropeway Division, 309, Express Apartments, Vaishali, Sahibabad, District Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Tel: 0120-4775380 & 4777529; Fax: 0120-4775379; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Damodar Ropeway in operation at Shri Naina Deviji Temple in Himachal Pradesh
The Udankhotala at Maa Mansadevi temple in Hardwar