Benefits of Ropeways – UPSC GS3

Parvatmala Scheme’s Aim: Building ropeways to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters, besides promoting tourism in hill areas.
Significance of Ropeways:
  • Economical mode of transportation:
    • Given that ropeway projects are built in a straight line over a hilly terrain, it also results in lower land acquisition costs.
    • Hence, despite having a higher cost of construction per km than roadways, ropeway projects’ construction cost may happen to be more economical than roadways.
  • Faster mode of transportation:
    • Owing to the aerial mode of transportation, ropeways have an advantage over roadway projects where ropeways can be built in a straight line, over a hilly terrain.
  • Environmentally friendly:
    • Low dust emissions. Material containers can be designed so as to rule out any soiling of the environment.
  • Last mile connectivity:
    • Ropeway projects adopting 3S (a kind of cable car system) or equivalent technologies can transport 6000-8000 passengers per hour.
  • Ideal for difficult terrain:
    • Long rope spans: The system crosses obstacles like rivers, buildings, ravines, or roads without a problem.
    • Ropes guided over towers: Low space requirements on the ground, and no barrier for humans or animals.
  • Economy:
    • Ropeway having multiple cars propelled by a single power-plant and drive mechanism.
    • This reduces both construction and maintenance costs.
    • The use of a single operator for an entire ropeway is a further saving, in labor cost.
    • On level ground, the cost of ropeways is competitive with narrow-gauge railroads, in the mountains the ropeway is far superior.
  • Transport of different materials:
    • A ropeway allows for the simultaneous transport of different types of material.
  • Ability to handle large slopes:
    • Ropeways and cableways (cable cranes) can handle large slopes and large differences in elevation.
  • Low footprint:
    • The fact that only narrow-based vertical supports are needed at intervals, leaving the rest of the ground free, makes it possible for ropeways to be constructed in built-up areas and in places where there is intense competition for land use.
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