India set to approve first ever cable car system for Mumbai

The Indian government is set to approve the country’s first cable car project from Elephanta Caves to Mumbai, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The project, which has been under discussion since 2017, may soon get under way following comments by Prahlad Singh Patel, the minister of culture, who said "full cooperation" will be provided.

The $100m project, which is being undertaken by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), involves building an 8km ropeway over sea between Sewri in Mumbai to the Elephanta island, whose cave temples are a tourist destination.

Work is expected to begin before the year’s end and will take about 42 months to complete. The project will involve the building of between eight and 11 towers in the sea, with each being up to 150m tall. The system will use 30-seater cable cars, and a trip on it will take about 14 minutes.

About 700,000 visitors a year go by ferry to the Elephanta caves at present. As they have been named Unesco World Heritage sites, the project related will have to be cleared by the Archaeological Survey of India, as well as the Indian navy, coastguard and the Ministry of Environment.

Image: The Mumbai-to-Elephanta ferry (Public Domain)

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