AHMEDABAD: The state forest department and the ropeway operator have found faults with Union minister Jairam Ramesh's alternatives proposed for the Girnar ropeway. They say that if it launches from Datar, the pilgrim will have to climb up to Bhavnath Taleti to get on to a cable car. This will hinder the vulture nesting site. In case of the second alternative, if launched from Bhesan, this cable will pass through the home of the Asiatic lions in Gir Sanctuary.
"The purpose is to give a smooth ride to the pilgrims. If we were to start an alignment from Bhesan, it would mean that the pilgrims after visiting Bhavnath, an important destination, will have to travel 35 km to catch the ropeway. From Datar, they will have to climb halfway before catching the ropeway," said Deepak Kapilesh of Usha Breco, the contractor for the project.
For starting from Bhesan, the authorities will have to construct a road for pilgrims which will create trouble for lions in the protected area and dolis will have to be used to carry elderly pilgrims in case of a Datar connection, said forest officials. Kapilesh added that Bhesan was too far from the hill to connect by cable. "An earlier survey had found the proposed Bhavnath-Ambaji route to be more suitable. The present alignment passes 50 meter from the nesting site. The noise pollution is minimal as the cabins are closed. The distance between two cabins is going to be around 500m on a routine day and 150m on a Sunday or during peak hours," said Kapilesh