Srinagar, Jul 27: The Cable Car Corporation Friday claimed to have re-opened Gulmarg Gondola here in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district for tourists after reinforcing the necessary maintenance.
Hundreds of the tourists visiting Gulmarg had expressed disappointment over the non-functioning of Gulmarg Gondola for phase 1 which had closed since 16 May 2018.
However, the Phase 2nd from Kungdoori to Apparwath was open for commercial operations. The travel agents had also expressed resentment over closure of the J&K Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC) for not maintaining it on time or during off season.
Managing Director Jammu Kashmir Cable Car Corporation Shamim Ahmad said that the Gandola was thrown open for visitors Thursday. “The services were restored Thursday evening after necessary equipment was replaced,” he said.
The MD further said that the Gondola was undergoing maintenance on the advices of the French Company M/S Pomagalski which is responsible for its supply, erection and installation.
The company commissioned the cable car in the year 1988 had advised against its operation until its maintenance is done. “French engineers had visited Gulmarg and sought the replacement of Hub and Shaft of these lifts,” he said.
Officials here in Gulmarg said that since the Gnadola phase 1 was closed the tourists visiting Gulmarg were especially feeling disappointed for not enjoying the Gondola ride and the tourist arrivals at the resort had also declined because of non-functioning of Gondola. The gondola service is among key tourist attractions in a region counted among Asia’s best ski resorts. It is one of the highest and longest cable-based lift services in the continent, ferrying passengers to and from the Gulmarg to the Kongdori station roughly 4,000 feet above.
Sources had said that due to due to closure of the Gandola, the corporation was losing lakhs of rupees every day in peak of this tourist season.
In the absence of cable car facility upto phase 1, tourists were using All Terrain Vehicles and ponies to reach the base of second phase at Kungdoori where from they take gondola ride upto Apparwath peak.
It is to mention here that the work on Gulmarg Gondola Project (Phase-I and Phase-II) was taken up for execution by the J&K Government through Department of Tourism in 1987.Kungdoori & Apparwath are 2 major attractions for Gulmarg Gondola riders. (KNS)